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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34 Medical Construction & Design | SEPTEMBER /OCTOBER 2017 | MCDM AG.COM The unique character of a healing garden is the prod- uct of creative collaborations between the design team and multiple stakeholders: admin- istration, facilities, clinical staff , patients and potential donors. The process works best when as many groups as possible participate in early vi- sioning sessions that establish clear design goals. The challenges to a unifi ed vision are multiple. Healing, respite, therapy, education and play, are all potential aspects to be accommodated in a garden design, but may have competing goals. Each facility will have diff erent operational requirements. Therapy and education programs require additional storage. Access to the garden for very sick pa- tients requires the integration of clinical support elements. A rooftop design will vary wildly from a converted parking lot. Throughout, expectations will vary, along with point of view. At the Bunny Mellon Healing Garden at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., early vision- ing sessions established the primary design goal to use a palette of natural materials as a counterpoint to the neces- sarily artifi cial environment of the hospital's interior. But input from the most crucial of stakeholders — the chil- dren — would also be critical. The design team gave these very young patients dioramas with stickers and markers so they could visually articulate the aspects most important to them. Water features and play- ful pathways through a verdant landscape fi gured prominently. And the children's aspirations would become the project team's guiding vision, an inspi- ration that would have to be carefully balanced with hospi- tal operations and protocols. Choosing the right materials Wide varieties of landscape and hardscape materi- als are available and must be measured against such GUIDING VISION Perspectives, insights on designing sustainable healing gardens BY DIANA HORVAT & TATIANA ESCOBAR State of Sustainability ISSUE FOCUS 70% Rough percentage of space-layered landscapes with shade trees, fl owers and shrubs at various heights should take up in a healing garden 30% Percentage of space that concrete walkways, plazas should occupy Source: healing garden checklist, scientifi

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