One of the things I love about creative work is finding ways around hurdles, but I don't know that I've ever dealt with hurdles quite so high before. And who knew that roofs were so complicated and exacting. And most everything there that is ugly and unsightly has to deal with making sure one thing or another flows in a prescribed manner.
First, there's a waterproof membrane covering the whole surface of the roof. It cannot be pierced, breeched, torn, or adversely affected in any way. It's black and ugly, and there's just nothing that can be done about that.
Next are the drains. If anything I do clogs or adversely affects the drainage of water, I can hand them $1 million dollars, and I may still be in trouble.
And there are flanges at the base of every vertical surface that kick the water onto the roof to be funneled into the drains. That process can't be messed with.
Furthermore, there is a large cooling system on the roof of an adjacent building. I can't do anything to that that would affect the rate of airflow in the system, or whole rooms/wings of the hospital are shut down.
And further out on another building in the complex, but still very much in the sight line, is another air cleaning system. This is where it gets a bit scary. That system cleans and vents air from rooms used for infectious disease patients. So if we work very close that bunch of machinery, we may be exposed to TB or other airborne pathogens.
See, this is why I wanted to meet with the facilities dept. BEFORE coming up with a design for the space. Without all this information, I'd be poking holes in the waterproof membrane, making the building flood, shutting down rooms people need to get well, and exposing myself (and others) to some really bad stuff. Who knew roofs were so dangerous—I mean beyond the idea that you can fall from them and stuff. And I'm totally forgetting about my fear of heights.