Whether it is a hospital department, an assisted living facility, a wellness spa, or a pediatric dental office there are a few predominate considerations which a health care designer should take in consideration.
The ammount of diferente types of environments under the “health care” design topic is extensive, but at the core are just a few considerations which need to be taken in account during the design process.
The FF&E of Health Care design, that envolves the selection of all fabrics, furniture, and equipment, must rest upon some questions that the health care designer should respond to them:
- Who am I designing for?
- What is the patient population and their special needs?
- Who else will participate in this space?
- Will my design be part of the therapeutic process? Can it? Should it?
- How do I integrate an aesthetically pleasing and healing space with one that functions properly for all occupants, while addressing the health, safety and welfare of those who will be treated; for those who will accompany or visit them; and for their caregivers within?
Other issues like National and local codes must be taken into account.
The designer’s selections must address safety issues and codes, as well as take into consideration the durability of materials.
Characteristics to consider are infection control standards; resistance to microbes, moisture, mold and fungus inhibition; fire retardant factors; stain and heat resistance; chemical resistance; and more.
Products which the designer will specify are:
- Flooring: The floor is one of the most important areas in any health care setting.
Flooring makes both an important design statement, as well as participates in the all- important aspects of navigating through the facility.
There are a variety of flooring materials which work well in health care facilities from a functional perspective, as well as which offer a multitude of design opportunities. Flooring can be resilient or non-resilient, such as ceramic or porcelain tiles. Carpet is also a flooring material which has application in health care design, but careful consideration should be given to the use of carpet in specific areas.
The major types of flooring for use in health care settings would be:
- Resilient flooring: Vinyl composition tiles, sheet vinyl, vinyl planking, vinyl tiles, linoleum sheet goods, other types made with various organic materials such as straw.
- Wood: acrylic coated and/or impregnated
- Carpet: broadloom or carpet tiles
- Ceramic or porcelain tile
- Rubber tiles or sheet good
- Wall treatments and Wall Protection Systems
- Fabrics for furniture, cubicles, window treatments, and bedding
- Plumbing Fixtures
- Countertop Surfaces
- Window Treatments
- Surfacing Materials such as laminates, polymers, veneers, etc.