Healthcare Architect’s Role in Hospital Planning & Design

Hospitals are complex healthcare facilities. Thus, it is important to plan and design their architecture to the smallest detail. And this process of a lot of discussion and debate is what forms the process of Hospital Planning & Design. Along with attention to detail, the process requires time as well. Thus, it can take months to create a successful design. Let’s see what work gets done in these long months.

Hospital Planning & Design

The process of Hospital Planning & Design involves a list of pre-planning considerations. These include decisions about strategic plans and the mission of the hospital. Considering the services it will provide is crucial as well.

After making the pre-planning considerations, the people in charge form a planning team. This team handles planning and includes administrators, consultants, healthcare professionals, and doctors.

The planning team always has a healthcare architect. That’s because an architect’s role in hospital planning is of utmost importance. Why? You’ll get to know that in a while.

After the formation of the team, the first task is data collection. The data collection team collects geographic, social and demographic information. This information collected is about the area and residents around the hospital site.

Next, the team makes an inventory of all existing medical resources. This inventory gives the hospital planning & design team an idea about the resources. A risk-benefit analysis of hospital planning & design follows

The inventory-making.

Then this team uses the collected information to come up with a functional plan. This plan considers location, function, space needs, and fixed furniture. And then, it focuses on elements such as equipment, workflow, and traffic management. The team shouldn’t forget some ‘out of the box’ special requirements.

Additionally, this plan should encompass the issues raised by the healthcare architect.

The planning team then puts together all information into a document. With all this information that an architect needs, he creates a schematic drawing. The architect’s role in hospital planning, here, is to come up with an architectural plan. And, this plan should integrate all the conceptual, functional, and administrative aspects.

Once created, the Hospital Planning & Design team evaluates the schematic drawing. They make all required changes and then approve the plan.

Next, the architect makes a cost estimation for the hospital. This estimate includes the costs of equipment, utilities, and landscapes.

Architect’s role in Hospital Planning & Design

The architect’s role in hospital planning is crucial in hospital planning & design.

Architects create a final drawing including all the structural, mechanical and electrical aspects. The architectural considerations include roads, utilities, passage widths, and wall elevation.

The structural aspects are specifications of construction materials such as girders and beams.

The mechanical aspect of hospital design considers ducting, piping, and heating. Managing bore well and central AC also come under this aspect.

Electrical elements including transformers, generators, electrical equipment, and switch gears are also important.

The architect managing the hospital planning & design has to do so according to many factors. He has to design a building that is close to the culture of the area. And the design should be able to meet future demands and manage heavy patient loads as well.

The design needs to be functional. It should be made keeping in mind the workflow so that critical care patients have no reason to suffer.

Also, hospital costs like electricity, equipment requirements, etc. should be taken care of.

All this comes under the responsibility of the architect. With this, he needs to ensure that patient treatments are never compromised.

The other aspects of Architect’s role in hospital planning and design

Hospitals in the modern era are no longer buildings with white and high ceilings. The newer designs focus on lifting the mood of all anxious and depressed patients. Hospitals are now designed to try and create a positive impact.

Today, hospital architects need to create functional environments. Not only this, they need to provide healing support as well. So, knowledge of the health sector is a must for doing justice to the architect’s role in hospital planning.

Architects need to go beyond their conventional role and have a say in the planning process. With newer technologies comes complexity in the designing process. Also, there is an increase in the number of specialized wards in hospitals around. This makes the architect’s job even more difficult.

In the current era, Architects have to take part in the planning process. This is essential to understand the vision of the hospital. Also, architects need to follow the government guidelines to come up with a design that suits all. After all, they are not only designers but people committed to the institution.

Functionality is the primary thing in hospital planning & design, followed by any aesthetic. An architect’s role in hospital planning is to ensure functionality is at its best. He needs to see the limitations in design. And then, overcome them.

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