January 27, 2021

Thoughtful Healthcare Design Minimizes Unintended Consequences While Protecting Patient and Staff Welfare

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COVID-19 has forced the healthcare world into uncharted territory. Protecting patients from those who are contagious is an experiment in real-time.

With hospital space at a premium, solutions for safeguarding the well-being of patients and staff are paramount. But each action must be taken with a clear understanding of the many cause-and-effect scenarios and evaluations of equipment capacities.

Creating negative-pressure spaces, separating infectious patients from others, creating higher ventilation rates, minimizing potential contamination and cleaning the air are methods to create a safer patient environment. It’s crucial, though, to understand unintended consequences that might arise from each solution.

For example, pulling outside air through doors and other exterior openings is the path of least resistance, but it causes its own problems. In the summer, humid air brings moisture into the building, creating damaging conditions for building components and uncomfortable conditions for occupants. In the winter, cold air creates cold spots and uncomfortable conditions for occupants. Required building pressurizations may fall out of code-required ranges and put hospital operations in jeopardy and patient safety at risk. Required closing of rated doors is affected.

Read more about FreemanWhite’s Understanding of Unintended Consequences. FreemanWhite, a Haskell Company, is an integrated team of architects, engineers, strategists, clinicians, and construction experts who strive to create innovative designs that incorporate cutting-edge technologies to improve patient care, advance healing and provide efficiencies for clinicians and researchers.

Haskell delivers more than $1 billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 1,800 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

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