Certificant Profile – Joel Farmer

Joel Farmer AIA, ACHA
Principal, Vice President of ArchitectureGuidon
Indianapolis, Indiana

How has ACHA certification enhanced your career in healthcare architecture and/or design?

ACHA certification is the definitive achievement for a healthcare architect in validating their expertise in healthcare and is recognized by the industry as such.

When asked about my ACHA credentials, I have the opportunity to educate clients on the value, importance and the prestige the certificate holds. I let them know that I am one of 451 Architects that hold this certification throughout our nation and one of 17 that holds this certification in the State of Indiana. This certification lets the clients know and have confidence that I have the expertise to lead their healthcare projects.

With my ACHA credentials I have been able to win more healthcare projects as more healthcare clients are demanding an ACHA certificate holder be on their project teams.

What would you say to anyone interested in the field?

Become certified! The field of healthcare touches everyone at one point or another during their journey in life. Whether they are just being born, attending a well visit, receiving emergency aid or suffering a life threatening event, we count on our healthcare systems to be there for us. What better way to give back to society than be involved in the design and development of healthcare facilities that help people at any stage of their lives. We call this our why statement “improving lives + empowering people!”

What led you to becoming ACHA certified?

With my nearly 30 years of designing projects in the healthcare field, I wanted to let people know I am an expert in the design of healthcare projects. ACHA Certification enabled me to be part of an organization whose core mission is to distinguish healthcare architects through certification, experience, and rigorous standards. The College is comprised of certified healthcare architects that exemplify the deep knowledge of healthcare focused design and are the thought leaders that drive and influence our healthcare communities. The certification is validation to your peers and clients that you are the best in your field to collaborate and guide them through projects achieving the best results possible.

When I started the certification process, there were less than 250 architects certified in the nation with this certification and only 6 in the State of Indiana. I was fortunate to be the 7th Architect to receive certification in the State of Indiana.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you personally or your practice?

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on how our practice operates on a daily basis. We understand the impact it is having on our clients, partners, and communities. Guidon is committed to improving lives + empowering people through our actions and how we design our projects. We have been part of several facilities assessments to evaluate how existing healthcare facilities can be quickly converted in response to the rigorous isolation room requirements helping house the growing census of infected patients.

Our strong focus on healthcare and life science work makes us aware of the important part we play in protecting our community. We have deployed a fully functional remote team. A no-travel policy has been implemented and almost all our meetings with clients and consultants have been held virtually.

We fully expect to meet all deadlines and will keep projects moving forward. We are here for our clients and are available to assist with any healthcare/mission critical facility projects, challenges, or emergency renovation projects our healthcare communities may have.

The question for everyone, how will COVID-19 change how we think about healthcare moving forward? One thing for sure, we will be there to help our healthcare communities create environments that promote positive outcomes.

About You

Education: Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. Associates Degree in Civil Engineering from Cincinnati Technical College. Associates Degree in Construction Management from the University of Cincinnati. SEPS 3 Certified VA Medical Planner.


Joel Farmer, AIA and ACHA member, is a Principal and Vice President of Architecture for Guidon. He has nearly 30 years of healthcare design experience and has planned, designed, and managed numerous healthcare and life science projects both regionally and internationally.

In his role at Guidon, Farmer has focused on envisioning healthcare projects that integrate long-term overall wellness through functional and solution-oriented design. 

Farmer has been the lead architect on projects of up to $1.1B throughout the United States with a recent focus on the Midwest, where he calls home. His work designing and managing healthcare facility projects has been recognized with multiple awards for outstanding performance.