Medical Construction & Design

SEP-OCT 2017

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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Page 26 of 78

22 Medical Construction & Design | SEPTEMBER /OCTOBER 2017 | MCDM AG.COM Restrooms Spotlight light and exterior views, features shown to help improve patient mood and health outcomes. While they off er more patient privacy, inboard restrooms also reduce the nursing staff 's line-of-sight visibility to patients. Exterior wall (outboard) rest- rooms are always specifi ed for intensive care units. Outpatient clinics, and their associated toilet rooms, take a variety of forms. If a toilet room is used for specimen collec- tion, it will require a specimen collection cabinet with pass-through adjacency to the testing lab. If a clinic handles drug testing, designers may confi gure the room to have only a toilet, with a hand-washing sink located outside the room or an in- room sink with a remote shut-off water function to comply with government test- ing requirements. These variations of clinical toilet rooms require an understanding of the unique programmatic needs of the indi- vidual departments and modifying the design to satisfy them. Innovation in healthcare restroom materials, fi xtures While new products and technologies for restroom design become increasingly available, healthcare organizations can be hesitant to try something untested in the medical environment. Tile and grout may be tried and true, but grout is still a cleaning issue and tiles can pose a slipping hazard. New restroom materials and fi xtures need to pass several standards — and expectations — for hospitality aesthetics, cleanliness and safety. For example, there is a growing inter- est in using prefabricated toilet modules for new patient rooms. Prefabrication in a controlled manufacturing environment provides a better-quality product that can also expedite a tight construction schedule. While the units off er compel- ling benefi ts, their use is typically limited to new construction, rather than renova- tions, due to the required access through a building to install them. Minimal-seaming products for fl oor- ing and solid-surface walls continue to provide a combination of sophistica- tion and functionality for healthcare restrooms. Smooth and seamless wall cladding and large-format porcelain wall panels can create a hospitality feel in the shower, while sheet fl ooring has become a great alternative to tile, providing a grout- free, easy-to-clean surface. One-piece seamless sinks with backsplash are a popular choice and off er an antimicrobial surface and sleek look. To reduce infec- tion, automatic fi xtures — such as touch- or hands-free faucets, toilets, urinals and hand dryers — are a given. And while the new low-fl ow toilets are great for water conservation, old pipes may not have the adequate slope for the low-fl ow fi xtures; consult an engineer before installing in an existing building. A fi nal consideration is a recent rise in Legionella cases that have been attributed to stagnant areas of the supply piping which, although not directly a design challenge for the toilet rooms, should be considered if renovating a signifi cant por- tion of the building. Special considerations for bariatric design Bariatric units, as well as bariatric rooms on standard fl oors, require special con- sideration for their toilet room design. A bariatric restroom tends to be 20 percent larger than a typical healthcare restroom, allowing for larger clearance of patients and assisting nurses, as well as fi xtures and doors. A common mistake is that bariatric toilet rooms can double as ADA toilet rooms from a compliance standpoint; however, the bariatric clearances diff er from ADA and additional provisions are required to comply. Due to weight load, bariatric toilets use fl oor-mounted, non- porcelain models with structural fl oor supports. Grab bars and sinks in bariatric restrooms need steel reinforcements, especially if wall-mounted. The introduc- tion of a patient lift into the toilet room for these programs requires a transfer or a customized door frame to accommodate the lift track. There are many variables in the design of healthcare restrooms, and their size, specifi cations and materials will diff er based on patient population and usage. Healthcare environments tend to provoke anxiety in people, so the trend toward hospitality design in healthcare spaces, including restrooms, will only acceler- ate. The choice of colors and fi nishes can impact patient comfort and satisfaction with a facility, and the choice of fi xtures and materials can impact long-term main- tenance and infection control. The design team would be wise to collaborate with facility management and environmental services to design patient restrooms that meet everyone's goals. Jason Costello, AIA, EDAC, is an associate prin- cipal and partner leading the healthcare studio at Margulies Perruzzi Architects. >> DESIGN continued from 19 Photo: Auremar/Dreamstime

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