How Sustainable Design Solutions Are Redefining Healthcare Industry for the Better

published Feb 21, 2020
2 min read

Sustainable Healthcare

Healthcare institutions are businesses that never sleep, their employees are often on hold in case of an emergency and they always need to function without a glitch. In a hospital, any serious non-medicinal mistake can mean a loss in human life.

As technology advances and we get more accurate machines and tools doctors can use, the patients are also seeing an improvement in simple things such as making an appointment and consulting with their doctors.

But besides all that medical equipment, are there any other types of solutions that can help take the healthcare industry to the next level, both from the perspective of the medical staff and the patients? With that in mind, let’s explore some sustainable solutions which will or are already slowly changing the healthcare industry for the better.

Energy Efficiency Monitoring

Most hospitals are large, sometimes consisting of multiple buildings and most parts are active throughout the entire day. You always have some personnel going about the corridors, be it a doctor, nurse or a cleaning crew and not to mention all the patients who are being admitted into the hospital, going to lunch or being administered with their treatment. All in all, it is safe to say that something is always turned on at a place like that.

When you leave home, you have the luxury of turning everything off but you always need the lights, the HVAC system, respirators and a bunch of other pieces of equipment so turning it off cannot be a valid energy-saving strategy.

Therefore, you need smart monitoring tools that would report, for instance, a problem with the HVAC so you can have it repaired as soon as possible without wasting resources. In large systems like these, noticing something on time can make all the difference when it comes to resources and also saving human life if the issue gets out of hands. Hospitals need a smart design to monitor its energy expenditure.

Lighting Solutions Are More Vital than One Thinks

Lighting systems are closely connected with energy efficiency but are also relevant from the medical point of view. Just imagine the importance of quality light in an operating room as well as of a lighting system that can meet high hygiene standards necessary for such space. Also, having a pleasant light in patient room can reduce the stress in patients and therefore boost their general well-being since most of them have enough stress as it is.

From the energy efficiency point of view, LED light bulbs are an obvious choice and modern design ensures less dust collecting. The options to dim the lights is very helpful to patients because it helps them sleep better while still allowing doctors and nurses to monitor their state.

Another neat trick is the option to change the colour of the light, however irrelevant it may seem. Many patients have complained about the blue lights that come from monitors and screens disrupting their sleep patterns but not anymore. Simply put, modern lighting design is beneficial for healthcare institutions for many different reasons.

Hospital Lighting

Building Itself as an Important Factor

Before modern technology, the windows needed to be tinted dark to decrease the impact of heat and these kinds of windows mean that the interior was darker. This, in return, increased the need for more artificial lighting which brings us back to the topic of energy efficiency. Nowadays, hospitals can use smart or dynamic glass that can change in transparency, ranging from clear to nearly opaque.

This also means that you can have larger windows with more light coming in, which is important because a lack of both natural and artificial can affect people’s mood to a great extent.

Also, insulation is a vital topic when speaking of sustainable design and luckily, window frames are now being made in such a manner as to preserve the temperature of the interior. In addition to that, concrete balconies that used to be a great concern are not so anymore because they are being thermally separated from the walls.

Healing Space Is Expanded

It might seem odd, but in the future hospitals will be able to provide their patients with more places to heal and not just their rooms and the operating rooms. A lot of times the physical wounds of patients heal and even though the doctors did their best to help them both, they still leave the hospital sad or depressed.

Besides their private problems affecting their mood, the hospital surroundings are not designed to be motivational but solely functional but that is about to change. The sustainable design relies on the green movement which in practical terms means more green space inside the hospital grounds, gardens, flowers, and trees.

Also, adding a kitchen where patients can help with food preparation could be beneficial both for the staff and the patients who often complain about the quality of hospital food. Everyone contributing to a mutual cause is an important element of psychological healing.

The future of sustainable design in the healthcare industry is not only bright but of great importance owing to the significance of such institutions. The more we invest in hospitals, the better healthcare will be so it is not only a question of efficiency but of doing everything in your power to help the patients.