Welcome to Diversified Design Technologies
Garrett B. Ludwig, President
Garrett Ludwig founded Diversified in 1971 as a specialty cabinet design and manufacturing company. In 1975, after extensive research and [clinical] academic training, he focused his attention and proven skills on the needs of medical and dental professionals. Garrett’s concurrent study in architectural planning established him as a leader in health care design for the private sector. He has since planned over 300,000 square feet of professional office space in addition to several thousand distinctive cabinet and furniture designs.
His work has been recognized in numerous trade publications, including: Medical Care Products; Furniture Design & Manufacturing; Surgical Product News; Dental Economics; Dental Equipment and Supplies; and the Journal of Esthetic Dentistry. Additionally, Garrett holds a patent with the U.S. Patent Office for his emergency services “crash cart” design, and has been acknowledged nationally for his innovative approach to office and millwork design.
Garrett taught office design at The University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine for over twenty years and has presented seminars for the Yankee Dental congress, Matsco Design Symposium, Big Apple Dental Society, Tufts University, numerous dental societies, and continues to lecture on dental office planning throughout the United States.
Diversified Design Technologies, Inc. is a solutions-based design firm. We’re here to help clinicians design ergonomically sound facilities for the profitable administration of health care. That’s what we do, and our clients tell us that we’re good at it.
Our company slogan, “Profit By Design” speaks to the “intent” as well as the “result” of responsible design. Since 1975, we’ve been serving the private sector in over twenty clinical specialties. We are committed to the creation of an office facility that reflects your professional image and enhances efficiency and productivity, while stringently managing the cost of development.
Dr. Matthew Ginsburg
“The prospect of having to move and re-design my dental office in one year was daunting. I had to find a suitable location, secure a lease, and design and build from scratch. I can do that in the mouth, no problem, but this was overwhelming. Garrett Ludwig calmly walked me through every step and thoroughly planned everything out along the way. He saved me time, money, headaches and mental anguish… I would highly recommend Diversified Design Technologies and Garrett Ludwig for any full office build-out, renovation, or even just to see what is possible for you!”
Dr. Matthew Ginsburg
Lisa Jordan, DDS
“Running a practice is enough to keep busy; so adding the process of building & designing a new practice was needless to say overwhelming at times! Garrett was communicative throughout the entire process; consistently doing his best to assure we understood what was happening and why. He made himself available to answer our questions (and there were lots.) Garrett’s experience designing dental practices allows him to bring forth ideas and suggestions; which certainly helped throughout the decision making process. His awareness of the relationship between aesthetics and functionality helped to develop the beautiful and streamlined practice we have today. Overall, through what at times may be called a grueling process; Garrett was a pleasure to work with and I would recommend him to colleagues looking to grow their practices.”
Jordan Dental Health Group
Drs. Hadden and Whidden
“Working with Garrett Ludwig on our new office project was an experience that was second to none. His attention to quality control that is customized to each client and to each project, sets the bar high for anyone in the industry… Simply stated… we couldn’t be happier!”
Glastonbury Dental Associates
How did an 80 square-foot addition to an existing vestibule allow us to increase this practice’s administrative space by 250 square feet?
Quite simply, the addition allowed us to relocate the entry door further into the waiting room; thereby affording us the means to expand the business area into poorly used waiting area space.
How do we guarantee that you will Profit by Design?
Our featured services:
FEASIBILITY STUDY/PRACTICE EVALUATION
There are numerous issues that must be considered when selecting a site for a professional office, many of which are difficult to identify without the guidance of a trained eye. Some of the more common “deal-breakers” are lack of parking, structural limitations and ability to meet code. It is imperative that the determination be made that the facility meets the spatial and intrinsic needs of the practice that will assure a return on investment.
Since the evaluation process is predicated on the needs of the practice, we perform a thorough analysis of the practice to determine the volume of space that will best facilitate the optimal function of the practice, including growth projections and related accommodations. Based on these established need factors, it is then our objective to identify, evaluate and report the positive and negative findings about a site or suite, thus allowing you to make an informed decision and wise investment. We have continually proven to save the cost of our fee, at the very minimum, and have documented savings that reach into many thousands of dollars.
Beyond the basic costs encompassed in the lease of professional office space, there are a variety of vague and/or confusing issues that can escalate the cost of a project before its inception. A common contract agreement might include a stipulation that the suite will be offered, “as is”. As a result, the tenant (you) would be responsible for the demolition of all interior partitions, lighting, plumbing and heating/cooling ducts. This could cost as much as $25,000, based on access to dumpster services.
It is our objective to review our forty-point check-list of “qualifiers”; including the contents of the agreement and identify potential problems, discrepancies and cost escalations. As with the site evaluation, we have been successful in saving the cost of our services at the very minimum and more frequently saved our clients thousands of dollars and averted disastrous difficulties.
Since it may be necessary to engage the services of other design professionals to aid in the development of the shell of a building for new construction or building addition, it is sometimes unclear what role we play in that segment of the project. It is, therefore, imperative that those services be defined.
All of our design concepts are predicated on Function, Flow, Efficiency, and Productivity. That effort must start with the position of the building based on sun-angle, adjacency to parking, handicapped accessibility, utilities, drainage and landscaping. The shell of the building, window and door placements are as crucial to exterior access as they are to the interior function of the facility. It is our objective to develop a structure within which we can provide the most efficient work environment for your practice. Although we cannot claim a definitive dollar amount in savings for this segment of our services, we do guarantee that the costs associated with trial-and-error in plan development, which are inherent with firms that don’t specialize in healthcare design, will be eliminated.
As designers, we are essentially purveyors of information. Whether it’s in graphic, three-dimensional or written form, the essence of our service is to communicate a concept for implementation. That information must lead to a comprehensive group of documents that will guide the contractors toward completion of your project.
It is our objective to provide all of the information necessary to complete the project and to ensure that all costs are acknowledged in the planning cost-containment process. The more information that is provided in each of the following construction documents, in a manner in which contractors are accustomed to interpreting them, the more accurate the bids will be and the closer the respective bids will be to each other. They include, but are not limited to the following:
Existing conditions (renovations and additions only)
It is important to identify the conditions that will notchange in the developmental process. This data is frequently used as a cross-reference guide to demolition and construction development and the cost related to each.
Demolition Plans (renovations and additions only)
Everything has an associated cost. When considering the per square foot cost of development of a new facility, it is important to figure the cost to demolish and remove debris prior to construction. These costs must be factored into the overall cost of the project or negotiated with the property owner
Furniture Floor Plans
These plans provide a visual representation of the proposed completed facility. They also provide a general overview of the project and, as such, aid in the cost estimation process. They are also useful in the design of mechanical services by enabling the contractors to better understand the occupancy of the facility and other factors that would influence fluctuations in heating and cooling distribution, i.e. exposures to sunlight. In both cases they are used as a cross-reference guide.
Partition Plans (including door & window schedules)
The partition plans must include details for type of framing, consideration for structural supports, soffits and other construction details, door and window types, sizes, locations and schedules. Type of framing, materials to be used and method of assembly. These details help the contractors define both the components and the related cost of labor.
Reflected Ceiling Plans
These plans define the location, type and method of installation for acoustical ceiling tiles and their juxtaposition to partitions and soffits. They also serve to define the placement of all ceiling-mounted lighting fixtures. Lastly they serve as a guide to the design and placement of the mechanical services. Accuracy and detail in these plans is critical in cost containment and project development.
Lighting & Safety Plan
These plans locate all lighting and switching, emergency lighting, exit lighting, smoke detectors and alarm systems. In addition, all lighting fixtures are coded to correspond with the lighting schedule- which specifies the brand, model, amperage, candle power of each fixture.
Power & Plumbing Plans
The power and plumbing plans contain an enormous volume of details, directives, fixtures and components all of which are depicted in standard graphic symbols which allow the contractors to simplify the calculation of the respective items for inclusion in the construction bid. The more information that is provided in a clear and concise manner, the less chance there is for excessive cost disparity, change-orders and cost-overruns in general. Subsequently, cost-containment is easily managed throughout the construction process.
Although the construction details are clearly defined in the partition plans, the value of a visual image of what is to be constructed is indispensable for interpretation and clarity of all construction directives. Details like chair rails, soffits, niches, electronics, plumbing and lighting fixtures (such as sconces), millwork, doors and windows.
Dental Utility Elevations
These plans further define the locations of all utilities (power, data, air, water, suction) needed to support functional operation of clinical equipment. As such each component is detailed for its finite location in measurements from adjacent surfaces; i.e. height from floor, distance from walls, etc.. This information is not only helpful to the respective building trades, but assures accurate positioning for all equipment. This information is shared with the equipment specialists and verified for accuracy prior to construction.
As with all other aspects of the construction bid process, the identification of the materials and methods ofinstallation of all finishes is instrumental in the effort to minimize and contain costs of development. This is essential to cost management, and will include the specification of types of flooring (carpet, sheet vinyl, vct, tiles, etc.) Wall-coverings(paper, paint, etc.) Note: The selection of specific materials to be provided by others.
Construction Details- Sections & Elevations
This data includes general information about things like the types of partitions, framing details, elevation and cross-sectional views of special components, i.e. soffits. Depending on the extensiveness of these items, there are typically one to three pages of these details.
Window and Door Schedules
The data on this sheet shows door sizes, quantity of doors, wood species, fire-rating, need for closer, type of hardware, direction of swing, locks, type of glass, type of frame, etc. Are the doors and frames wood or hollow metal? Are the doors raised panel or flush; mahogany or cherry? Are the frames knock-down or welded? This information ensures cost control as well as compliance with life-safety regulations.
Plumbing and Lighting Schedules
The data for each of these includes: location; manufacturer; style; model; quantity; utility requirements; finish and technical information. The collective specifications are critical to cost management during the bidding process; since contractors can easily quantify the associated costs with both product and labor for installation.
Although this comprehensive group of data will serve as the basis for all construction costs and will ensure competitive construction bids, it also serves as a protective measure as the project progresses. The construction drawings are part of the contract between the owner and the contractor and are, as such, a component of the assurance of compliance with the contractual agreement. They are also an effective tool in construction cost containment throughout the project. In simple terms, if the data calls for an item, it must be provided; if it is provided inaccurately or inappropriately, the cost to correct, replace or repair the problem remains that of the contractor. In either case, extras and change-orders are diminished or eliminated.
CONTRACT REVIEW AND NEGOTIATION
It is as common for the individual sub-contractor’s bids to differ substantially as it is for the total project bids to differ. It is critical that the contracts be reviewed to establish a “balance” of worth. For example, you may have three highly qualified general contractors who each provide similar cost quotations. This does not mean that each of them is providing the same product so it is imperative that each contract be thoroughly reviewed to determine which bid is the most comprehensive and inclusive.
It is our objective to bring clarity to the often-confusing elements of the contract bids in an effort to establish a fair and manageable total project cost. In keeping with other aspects of our non-design services, we have consistently saved our clients thousands of dollars beyond our fee for this service.
As with the office plans, the cabinet design is nothing more than graphic information with which the finished product will be produced.
Our objective is three-fold. First, we strive to present data that can be visually interpreted by our clients to ensure that the finished product will appear and function in the manner prescribed. Secondly, we are resolute in our effort to provide all of the information necessary to obtain competitive bids and avoid cost overruns and extras. Thirdly, we rely on our hands-on experience as former cabinet contractors, combined with our extensive knowledge of your professional needs, to provide millwork that is consistently lower in cost than pre-manufactured products. Historically, we have saved a minimum of one third the market value and have more often saved as much as two thirds the current market price. Our contract review has proven to save additionally, by determining the best value between bidding contractors. We provide the following:
*Dimensioned plan view (overhead view)
*Dimensioned elevations (front view)
*Perspective view (three-dimensional view)
SITE SUPERVISION/PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Although every effort will have been made to minimize errors and limit unprecedented expense prior to the actual construction phase of the project, site supervision is the last level of intervention to prevent errors and time delays.
It is our objective to make periodic visits to the construction site to ensure that the work that has been contracted is executed as specified. This is our final bastion of strength against cost-overruns and deadline compliance. Since one would expect that a project shouldbe executed to the letter of the contract, it may be perceived that this process is redundant. It is, therefore, difficult to predict a dollar-for-dollar savings forthe prevention of added costs due to errors or change-orders. However, the loss of revenue associated with any delays is easily calculable, as is the value of avoiding the associated aggravation and stress. From the standpoint of project management, the collective data that we provide in the planning process will be used to ensure budgetary compliance, as will all other printed details, including those outlined in your construction agreements.
Code Compliance Review
“I was referred to Diversified Design Technologies by 2 dental school classmates and colleagues that also work in Boston. The prospect of having to move and re-design my dental office in one year was daunting. I had to find a suitable location, secure a lease, and design and build from scratch. I can do that in the mouth, no problem, but this was overwhelming. Garrett Ludwig calmly walked me through every step and thoroughly planned everything out along the way. He saved me time, money, headaches and mental anguish. Garrett is a conscientious and diligent Dental Office Designer and Architect and is knowledgeable in all the trades necessary to get the job done. Professionals that he brought to the table were a huge help and value to my project, many of whom I now use personally outside of my dental office. Above all, Garrett was a calming influence on me throughout the design and construction process and helped me feel at ease every step of the way. I would highly recommend Diversified Design Technologies and Garrett Ludwig for any full office build-out, renovation, or even just to see what is possible for you!”
“Working with Garrett Ludwig on our new office project was an experience that was second to none. His attention to quality control that is customized to each client and to each project, sets the bar high for anyone in the industry. From design inception, execution, and a relentless commitment to his clients’ well-being, it is a given that Garrett stands behind his work and will do whatever it takes to ensure a quality product. His business philosophy is that everyone is an equal part of the team. He exemplifies this through his strong ability to communicate clear expectations for all. The result, is an ergonomically designed, maximally productive, and profitable practice facility that is an immediate return on the investment. We are proud of the thoughtfulness, commitment and quality of work that Garrett has demonstrated through the design, construction and commissioning of our new practice. He will always have our admiration, respect and appreciation for the excellent work he as done. Simply stated… we couldn’t be happier!”
One of our most remarkable endorsements was received recently through LinkedIn- a mere 35 years after completion of that client’s project. The endorsement appears below:
“I have known Garrett since 1979 when he helped me construct my first office and advised me on what needed to be done. Nothing out of the ordinary, you would say. Except I was a dental student, a state away, and pretty much knew nothing about office design. Garrett received the plans and we discussed options. He said not to worry about a thing. I think it is in people’s nature to worry about this type of construction, but he was right. He took care of the project and made sure I was taken care of all the way. It was more than just business. It was his integrity and his commitment to be the best he can be every step of the way. Thanks Garrett.”
“I was referred to Diversified Design by a colleague that utilized Garrett Ludwig’s services for design of her dental office in Boston’s Back Bay. She told me that she could not have got through her project without him. I echo her sentiments wholeheartedly. Garrett partnered with me to design and oversee every detail of my oral surgery practice build out in Boston in 2016. As is the case with many city construction endeavors, my project was plagued by difficulties with finding the right space, obtaining the proper permits, various personalities big and small (helpful and not) and delays and cost over runs. Through every step in the process Garrett was there to help. Diversified provided oversight on everything from consultation with finding a viable space, to introductions with vendors, contractors and designers, to personal and professional advocacy to see that my vision was realized. For the duration of almost a 2-year endeavor, Garrett provided me with peace of mind and guided me through every minute detail of the process. Garrett Ludwig is an honorable and honest professional that brings exceptional experience and talent to the table. Garrett exudes a commitment to personalized service and attention to detail that is manifest in the final product. I cannot recommend his services enough.”
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Specialty Interest Articles
Oddly enough, it’s not the fine print to which you are vulnerable It would require the text equivalent of “Gone with the Wind” to adequately describe the details necessary to execute an average dental office construction project. As a result, most contracts, including...
"Design isn’t just what it looks or feels like. Design is how it works." -Steve Jobs The phrase, “Form follows function” is not simply a cliché reference to modern architecture; it’s an element of ergonomics and human engineering; and that is the basis for good...
I can’t help but speculate that the aversion to performing a feasibility study is as much emotional as it is financial. Clearly there is a cost factor that may dissuade the fiscally faint-of-heart- despite its proven worth. However, my perception is that a feasibility...
Dental offices use a lot of water! Not by volume, but by variety [there are four]: washing/flushing; drinking; sterilizing; cooling/irrigating- and each has it’s own peculiarities. Three of them require a storage container or “jug”. And the fourth may be subject to...
If You Rely On Statistics As A Guide When Planning An Office, You Are Likely To Become One Of Those Very Statistics! This article was inspired by a recent conversation that I had with Linda Miles [Linda Miles & Associates] during which she shared another of her...
THEORY #1: Pre-manufactured dental cabinetry offers superior ergonomic design. TRUTH: One would expect that to be true. Unfortunately, that is a profound fallacy! In fact, many of the products designed and produced by those companies necessitate class IV and class V...
Would you like to save $40,000 before you start? We do this for our clients on a regular basis! Feasibility Study: Based on the fact that our client was intending occupancy of a newly-constructed, Class-A office building in a vital and active commercial district, he...
"If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." -Red Adair O.K... You’ve done your homework and have determined that your entire office project costs (construction, millwork, etc.) amount to $352,000. Would you...
How disturbing is it when a patient refuses routine diagnostics simply because they have no symptoms and they wish to save money? How distressing is it to have to treat that patient for a preventable disease that has finally progressed to a symptomatic, intolerable...
How Much Will That Cost? If you invested several hours of your time with a free-dental-office-design-service-provider and later discovered that the plan did not meet building code- or your needs- was it “free”? Doubtful! Unfortunately, this scenario is common and it’s...
Diversified Design Technologies is a solution-based design firm. As such, we subscribe to the philosophy that, like life itself, adversity often inspires the need to “think outside the box”, as well as the willingness to embrace the resulting change. As professional designers we are well aware that buildings, new and old are often fraught with provocative conditions that impose upon optimal design- as well as impede the construction process. Although these impositions often test our mettle, we prefer to consider them “opportunities”. We take great pride in our commitment to explore every tangible option of resolution in an effort to optimize the physical result while assuring a favorable return on investment. The following are examples of our most distinctive design solutions. Please visit again as we continue to post additional problem-solving design concepts.
For an energizing, information-packed session with Garrett Ludwig call 860-652-0841 today.
His knowledge and experience are unparalleled in the dental industry. Learn how to spend less, save more and guarantee a substantial return on investment.
Garrett Ludwig is currently booking training seminars that include the topics below. Take this opportunity to benefit by his vast knowledge of clinical and adminstrative dental practice operations and how they are optimized by effective design, building code compliance, construction and project management.
Dental office design involves a complex compilation of many disciplines. For that reason, we welcome questions that will help the attendees comprehend the value of each topic. But, it should be understood that each topic represents: AN EXPENSE OR A SAVINGS. The effective administration of each line item will result in a calculable return on investment. Please find an abridged list of topics that will be included in the seminar.
- Practice analysis
- Avoiding the deception of statistics
- Determining your space needs
- Factoring useable versus leaseable space
- Emphasizing the need for a Feasibility Study
- Lease or purchase negotiations
- Demograpic assessment
- Site assessment
- Zoning and Building Codes
- Pre-planning and budgeting
- Common pitfalls in dental office design
- Millwork design: custom versus pre-manufactured
- General Contractor versus Construction Manager
- Value of site-supervision and project management
- Contract review and negotiations.
Hartford Dental Society
Yankee Dental Congress
Academy of Dental Management Consultants
New Haven Dental Society
Big Apple Dental Society
Pioneer Valley Dental Society
University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine
FIVE MOST POPULAR SEMINARS
- Dental Office Design For “Smarties”
- Five Biggest Pitfalls in Do-It-Yourself Dental Office Design
- Dental Office Design: It’s All About The [Your] Money. And, what you don’t know can cost you tens of thousands of dollars!
- The Business Of Dentistry: How It Is Impacted By Your Physical Space And Vice Versa
- Nuts And Bolts of Dental Office Design: Our Twelve-point profile of essentials will save you thousands of dollars.