Designing a facility to meet the needs of staff and patients was at the heart of Continuum, a non-profit mental health and addiction services provider. Not only did it have to replace Continuum’s previous offices, which were housed in a Victorian brownstone, but the three-story structure also had to bring together several satellite offices and allow for future growth of its home care and continuing care programs.
It is not difficult to imagine the need for security in healthcare environments. Where are the eyes and ears ensuring the safety of a newborn transported from labor and delivery? Can family members visiting a sick relative be confident their valuables are safe at bedside if they leave to grab a snack? What security precautions are taken when a rear exterior door to the hospital is propped open so staff can take a break?
Progressive healthcare organizations realize the vital role of their facilities’ low-voltage information technology (IT) infrastructure and have taken a holistic view of the many systems needed. This is especially important during new construction or renovation projects to ensure nothing is compromised during the process.
The average hospital uses three times the energy of typical commercial buildings, and U.S. medical facilities spend $8.8 billion annually on energy. Between lighting, medical equipment, HVAC, and plumbing, energy consumption in medical facilities outpaces any other type of building. For large hospital systems, annual costs can reach into the tens of millions of dollars—no small amount in an industry of thin margins.
Stone wool’s various attributes are making the material attractive for use in suspended ceilings in educational, office, and healthcare projects. This article touches on such assemblies’ acoustics, air quality and light reflection impacts, along with information about fire performance, humidity, and dimensional stability. Design professionals must also understand the aesthetic possibilities, including flexibility with edges, sizes, colors, surfaces, shapes, and textures.