Healthy construction

The requirements modern hospital operations must meet are rising, especially where the latest diagnostic and therapeutic technology is concerned. Consequently, the challenges faced by healthcare architecture also keep on changing and growing.

A stay in the hospital is part of the human experience. Starting at birth, we return again and again – be it as patient or visitor. In many cases, it is a matter of life and death. Not surprising then that hospitals play a special role in society. General expectations of state-of-the-art technology and optimally designed buildings raise both social and financial pressure on hospitals. Those that cannot keep up are left behind.


Due to substantial cost-benefit pressure, hospitals are required to manage their affairs efficiently. Flexible institutions are the most successful. Many hospitals are undergoing comprehensive restructuring, aiming to adjust their service portfolio to the new challenges. In an increasingly competitive and complex environment, stakeholder groups have rising expectations of the standards a modern clinic should meet. This also affects healthcare buildings in terms of aesthetics, architecture and construction ecology.


A responsible task


Construction in the healthcare sector is exceedingly complex. It is therefore essential that comprehensive programmes are developed during the consultation phase before the actual planning begins. This includes formulating the functional and operational objectives and quality targets that will serve as a basis for the specific layout programme. To ensure that all day-to-day work processes will run smoothly, no aspect must be forgotten. Teams of specialists, medical staff, healthcare managers and (specialised) planners must work closely together to guarantee the successful implementation of the projects.


Thanks to this interdisciplinary approach, the resulting plans will comprise the entire range of relevant construction, medical, healthcare law and economic factors from the beginning of the process. Efficient planning and construction of complex medical buildings can be enhanced through Building Information Modelling (BIM). This tool has further uses during subsequent processes or construction and conversion activities to ensure that hospital operations run smoothly from the beginning. It facilitates specific responses to the different medical requirements of emergency treatment, inpatient and daycare treatment, preadmission and post-discharge treatment, outpatient treatment and rehabilitative treatment.

Healing Architecture is increasingly becoming a central theme for hospitals. With the immediate environment affecting our physical and psychological well-being and thus our health, the healthcare aspects of hospital building design are playing an increasing role in today’s hospital and rehab hospital planning. Factors such as odours, light, colours, materials and the environment, are tailored to the needs of the patients, enhancing their well-being and speeding up their recovery. Dr Georg Schäppi, Director of Hochgebirgsklinik (HGK) Davos, confirms this: ‘The refurbished premises in the private patient section create an atmosphere that promotes our patients’ well-being and feeling that they are in good hands – in short, an environment that ultimately promotes health.’


The private section of Hochgebirgsklinik (HGK) Davos was refurbished with the help of the ‘First Class Reha-Hospitality’ programme. The refurbishment of the guest rooms, the common rooms and the associated catering area was planned and implemented by the OOS architects’ firm.

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