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Rockfon Newsletter - Rethinking The Way We Design Hospitals
Rethinking The Way We Design Hospitals
There has been significant research conducted, demonstrating the influence that architecture can have on the mental and physical wellbeing of patients recovering in healthcare facilities. The findings confirm that there are a number of spheres, under an architect's influence, which can positively shape the experience of patients and staff alike.

Some important findings show that while the additional capital required to dramatically improve healthcare conditions is relatively small1 , the use of Evidence-based Design can drastically improve overall patient satisfaction and quality of life2. This idea has been dubbed "Healing Architecture".
Healing Architecture
Healing Architecture
According to Lawson, the use of Evidence-based Design, which incorporates empirical knowledge of human behavior and scientific method, has the ability to reduce treatment times, the consumption of medication by patients, levels of aggression and create an environment that supports better sleeping patterns and calmness.

To help correctly identify successful criteria, giving a holistic approach to designing healthcare facilities, a framework tool called ASPECT (A Staff and Patient Environmental Calibration Tool)3 was developed. Adopted in several countries around the world, eight important factors linked to improving healthcare facilities have been recognized.
Eight Important Architectural Considerations Identified By Healing Architecture
Privacy, Company, Dignity Privacy is a major concern for patients and when designing a room, one should enable patients to be alone and with others as they need.
  Views   There is significant research that links a patient's access to outside views and light to a quicker recovery time.  
  Nature and Outdoors   Contact to nature has shown to be therapeutic and calming. An important consideration given the vulnerable state of patients in hospitals.  
  Comfort and Control   Hospitals are busy and noisy spaces, providing patients the ability to adjust their light, heat and noise exposure, empowers them.  
  Legibility of Place   Sometimes overwhelming to navigate, one should design healthcare facilities to be as intuitive as possible to orientate through.  
  Interior Appearance   Designing a hospital to be inviting and cozy can positively affect and reduce the amount of time spent by patients recovering.  
  Facilities and Staff   The final two stages of ASPECT are grouped together and are geared towards qualities and spaces in the facilities for staff. Over the last couple of years, there is a body of research that has been built, establishing a link between the architecture of hospitals as well as the consequences and benefits it can have on both patients and staff. Given the influence a hospital construction can have over the welfare of patients, it is important select materials and surfaces that foster a beautiful, comforting and healing environment.  
1 Lawson (2010)
2 Lawson (2010)
3 Lawson (2010)

References Sited:
Lawson B. Healing Architecture, Arts & Health; 2010; 2:2, 95-108
  Barts & The Royal London Hospitals   Barts & The Royal London Hospitals

Customer's challenges
Barts is Britain's oldest hospital, undergoing a 10-year, £1 billion redevelopment. A crucial factor on this project was compliance with Skanska's environmental policy. Skanska is determined to be the leading green project developer and contractor in the UK, so they have some ambitious targets.

ROCKFON is working closely with the ceiling contector, Clark & Fenn Skanska, to ensure all ceiling waste and off-cuts from sites are recycled, and segregation of waste on site is a key factor in achieving this. In conjunction with storing off-cuts at CCF Distribution in Croydon, fifteen pallets of off-cuts have been returned to the ROCKWOOL factory in Pencoed (Wales) for recycling back into their production process.
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