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GIO Looks At Evidence Based Design Beyond Healthcare

Interior Desgn: It's a ScienceEvidence based design (EBD), in short, is when decisions about physical space are based on research and data. EBD has its roots in health care design and since the inception of the Pebble Project, an initiative launched by the Center for Health Design in 2000, EBD has become an integral part of the healthcare design vocabulary. The project brought together forward-thinking healthcare providers, architects, and designers to identify hospital design solutions that would measurably improve patient and worker safety, clinical outcomes, environmental performance, and operational efficiency.

Because hospital design involves high risks in both financial and clinical outcomes, it makes sense that EBD began with healthcare, where lives are at stake and nearly all decisions are data driven. This need for justification by hard data, however, is becoming more commonplace outside of healthcare. Nearly all project administrators take risks when they make decisions concerning design and construction, often having to defend their decisions to their supervisors or a board of directors.

In the 14 years since the Pebble Project was launched, the results of this program have been far-reaching. The EBD principles that guide the Pebble Project have moved beyond the world of healthcare and are making headway into being part of the process for designing schools, office spaces, hotels, restaurants, museums, prisons and even residences. It’s not at all uncommon today to see EBD included in RFPs as a project requirement.

With rising construction costs and human-centered considerations burgeoning, clients from all fields will demand accountability and the use of credible evidence in the construction and interior design of their buildings. Building professionals will be held to higher accountability for their design solutions and designers will seek substantiated strategies to remain innovative and competitive in their fields.

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GIO brings you a carefully curated selection of tile and stone products developed expressly for your commercial design projects. Our looks cover a range of styles to transform commercial spaces. From retail and restaurants to hospitals and hospitality, we’ve assembled an assortment of collections in styles befitting the gamut of spaces you may be called to design.

Healthcare Design: Creating Healing Environments for Improved Patient Outcomes

“Hospitals need new packaging, brand new dress that bespeaks health and happiness rather than sickness and suffering, hope instead of despair….What is being done to create for the patient surroundings that make him want to live, that restore to him the old fight to regain his health?” ~ Dorothy Draper, from In the Pink

In 1940, the Delnor hospital opened with beautiful interiors designed by Dorothy Draper. Designed as a “house of hope and cheer,” rooms were painted in pastel shades and trimmed with vibrant floral chintz curtains and bedspreads. Wallpaper and artwork adorned the walls, and meals were served on rose-painted china. Chicago Daily News reporter Olney Fred Sweet wrote, “Visitors agree that throughout, Delnor Hospital gives the impression of a place where one may not only gain strength but be refreshed in mind.”

Ms. Draper’s healthcare design philosophy was certainly ahead of the times. She would most assuredly be thrilled to see that overall, healthcare design tenets today are changing and, increasingly, facilities are engaging designers to create healing environments that reduce stress, and promote harmony of mind, body, and spirit.

A number of studies have linked the physical environment of hospitals to health outcomes and research has demonstrated how specific design changes in health care environments can reduce stress and the negative outcomes associated with it. Here are some ways research has shown how organizations can make design changes to alleviate stress and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

1. Connection to Nature

Evidence shows that even a few minutes of contact with nature can significantly reduce stress, increase pleasant feelings. and create a calming effect. This can be achieved by providing views to the outside, interior gardens or aquariums, or even artwork with a nature theme. Studies show that patients in rooms that receive more sunlight may be less depressed and have shorter stays. Windows are now considered a therapeutic component of patient rooms.

2. Noise Reduction

Good design can reduce noise from paging systems, equipment, alarms, ice makers, roommates, and staff, making hospitalization less stressful and more restful for patients.

3. Better Wayfinding

Designers are using color, images, and signage to better orient patients and families and help them find their destination. A thoughtful layout that makes it easier for frail patients to get around by themselves increases their independence and sense of control, reducing stress.

4. Social Support

Support from family and close friends can help in healing. Social support can be promoted by providing waiting rooms and lounges with comfortable furniture, designing patient rooms to accommodate visitors, and providing amenities such as sofas that covert to a bed, separate reading lights, and Internet access.

5. Private Rooms

Private rooms reduce the risk of infection and are also more efficient. Rooms designed to provide access to the patient’s support network will give patients a greater sense of control and reduce stress. In addition to having more privacy, patients in private rooms have their sleep disrupted less often.

6. Premium Materials

It’s no secret that high-grade materials are the best choices to withstand the rigors of commercial settings and deliver on the ROI. Using premium hard surface materials such as porcelain, glass or even stainless steel tiles will provide a beautiful aesthetic to horizontal and vertical surfaces, in addition to being hard-wearing and easy-to-maintain. Hard surface materials may contribute to improved patient outcomes because they are sanitary and are a preferred option for supporting indoor air quality in healing environments.

Dorothy Draper relied on her razor-sharp intuition and common sense when addressing healthcare design well over a half-century ago. But today, healthcare administrators charged with building and renovating facilities can rely on solid research in order to use their limited resources in ways that offer the most value to patients, family, and staff. Continued research and studies giving evidence of these and many other benefits of facility design on patient well-being and outcomes will go a long way in changing the standard in hospital facility design.

 

GIO brings you a carefully curated selection of tile and stone products developed expressly for your commercial design projects. Our looks cover a range of styles to transform commercial spaces. From retail and restaurants to hospitals and hospitality, we’ve assembled an assortment of collections in styles befitting the gamut of spaces you may be called to design.

Retail Spaces Converting to Healthcare Facilities: GIO Tile Looks at Successful Retail-to-Healthcare Renovation Projects

With millions of square feet of office and retail space sitting vacant across the country, some major healthcare providers are converting these vacant buildings into healthcare facilities.

In addition to the obvious–potential cost savings for the providers (the savings versus new construction can be significant, up to 30%)–adaptive reuse is seen by many as an effective way of reducing urban sprawl and environmental impact.

Though adapting retail and office buildings into healthcare facilities often has its advantages–such as prime location, speed to market and access to new patient populations–these projects can often present unique challenges such as security issues, high noise levels, inefficient HVAC systems, low ceiling heights and unsuitable window placements, to name a few. And then there are the unknowns–things that simply cannot be planned for in adaptive-reuse projects.

Some building professionals are convinced that building new is always more economical, and renovation is universally more expensive. But even though economic costs will certainly differ from project to project, and conversions may be more complicated than anticipated, there are a number of adaptive reuse success stories and we’re going to take a look at two of them.

Vanderbilt Medical Center at One Hundred Oaks Mall, Nashville Tennessee

Originally built in the 1960’s, Nashville’s 800,000 square foot One Hundred Oaks Mall was in serious decline.

Fifteen months of remodeling (including building out all the extra plumbing, HVAC and electrical) had its challenges. All the work went on just above the ceiling of  existing retailers, but the end result is a fully rejuvenated, mixed-use medical office center that brings top-tier medical care to the suburbs. Additionally, the transformation spurred the in-place retailers to remodel. Likewise, new restaurants came on board, resulting in a wholly successful revitalization project.

100 Oaks before
Before the conversion: the mall had fallen into disrepair despite experiencing two major overhauls.
100 Oaks after
Today the once aging mall is renovated into a successful, mixed-use medical office and retail destination.

Maplewood Spine Clinic, Maplewood, Minnesota

A former outdoor recreation store offered a great location in the heart of the clinic’s main patient base with close proximity to one of the system’s hospitals, but the challenges included a lack of windows and a badly located entry that created a concern about travel distance for patients. The design team solved the natural light problem with skylights and broke up the long interior spaces with interesting fixtures, millwork, and finishes on walls and ceilings. To solve the entry issue, clinical areas were strategically sited to keep travel distances short for the most vulnerable patients.

Research conducted a year after the new clinic opened  showed that patient visits jumped from 22 per day to 59 per day after a year, with monthly revenue hitting $357,000 over $139,000 during that time. And as an added bonus, the community is pleased with the conversion.

Maplewood Spine Clinic before
Lack of light was the greatest challenge of relocating the clinic into this former outdoor recreation store.
Maplewood Spind Clinic after
The design team solved the natural light problem with skylights and broke up the long interior spaces with interesting fixtures, millwork, and finishes on walls and ceilings.

The repurposing of existing office and retail buildings to accommodate medical offices and services is an option that is gaining favor nationwide. These conversions offer opportunities for both the healthcare provider and the patient. Not only is it cost-effective, but it’s a way to bring healthcare services closer to the community and patient base.

 

GIO brings you a carefully curated selection of tile and stone products developed expressly for your commercial design projects. Our looks cover a range of styles to transform commercial spaces– from retail and restaurants to hospitals and hospitality, we’ve assembled an assortment of collections in styles befitting the gamut of spaces you may be called to design. Turn to us for the latest solutions in architectural surfacing for your projects. We’re here to work with you!