Medical Construction & Design

SEP-OCT 2014

Medical Construction & Design (MCD) is the industry's leading source for news and information and reaches all disciplines involved in the healthcare construction and design process.

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48 Medical Construction & Design | September/October 2014 and prepare people for teamwork and collaborative sessions. Co-workers What is needed to make teamwork effec- tive without interfering with colleagues doing concentrative work or working one-on-one with patients? A growing trend in healthcare delivery is open, col- laborative planning that supports team interactions immediately adjacent to patient encounter spaces. As this contin- ues, it is important to balance the needs between collaboration and individual work tasks. Acoustic treatment of open collabor- ative spaces is important so quiet work can be accomplished and patients' privacy can be maintained. Consid- eration should also be given to adja- cencies. Active teaming areas next to quiet private areas can be challenging. Proper consideration of space and func- tion help focus attention on acoustic separation even when visual connection is needed. Additionally, the building itself contributes to the health of the people through its design. Simple gestures can make a big difference. Nursing staff walk a lot during the day, so placing supplies close to patient-care areas is important to reduce wasted time walking instead of serving patients. However, walking for exercise should be encouraged, so making stairs visible near elevators to give people a choice improves the health of building users. The connection between design and human health will help guide future facilities and planning efforts. Community What healthcare facility features and services can provide a positive impact on the overall health and wellness of the broader community? First, design excel- lence creates the potential for a build- ing to be a neighborhood focal point. If the building is inspiring, people will be drawn to it. Buildings designed with a sense of transparency help the com- munity see in and staff to see out, thus fi guratively drawing in the community to consider health and wellness. Healthcare buildings should have the appearance of being healthy and sustainable. Provid- ing walkable communities and campus environments are essential aspects of overall health and wellness. A new school of nursing for a university academic medical center in northern California, for instance, illus- trates the impact of sustainable design at these three human scales. The build- ing will make health information visible to occupants and will have a sense of transparency, inviting the community to "come in." The building will provide individual quiet spaces and interactive team spaces. There will be an emphasis on productive learning environments for medical students, with interactive classrooms supported by common spaces for learning with both teaming and individual work areas. Additionally, training and leadership development programs within the facility will build connections between the campus and its community to promote health and wellness. Healthcare facilities are energy- intensive machines consisting of vast and complex infrastructure, state-of-the-art medical technology and highly specialized programming. Yet within this vast machine is the individual — whether a patient, caregiver or administrator. By focusing on the three metrics of human scale, healthcare organizations and designers can personalize sustainable design at the individual level, provide for concentrative work and team spaces and broaden sustainability at the community level. Designing sustainable healthcare environments at the human scale promotes a holistic approach to health and wellness, in which healthy environment, healthy behavior and healthy community support wellness and health. ■ Stan Chiu, AIA, LEED AP, is a principal at HGA Architects and Engineers in Los Angeles, California. Patrick Thibaudeau, CSI, CCS, LEED AP BD+C, is vice president of sustainable design for HGA Architects and Engineers in Minneapolis, Minnesota. sustainable green RENDERING: HGA ARCHITECTS AND ENGINEERS The interior of Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton integrates extensive daylight, natural stone material and inviting common spaces to promote a positive patient/community experience and project a sense of health and well-being.

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