This effect of the built environment on patient well-being combined with the increasing focus on sustainability and the notable need for flexibility in future-proofing buildings to cope with the challenges of multifunctional departments, pose complex planning, design and construction challenges for National Health Services and private healthcare companies alike.
A Healthy Healing Space
Research reveals that indoor air is often more polluted than outdoor air, a particularly threatening issue within healthcare settings.
Harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be inhaled, affecting patients’ invariably weakened immune systems. In fact, nearly 50% of respiratory illnesses, including asthma, are caused or aggravated by poor indoor air because airborne formaldehyde (a common VOC) acts as an irritant to the conjunctiva and upper and lower respiratory tracts.
Our ceilings and plasterboards contain a patented technology to reduce formaldehyde and clean indoor air, which can greatly enhance the overall patient experience.
A Peaceful Healing Space
Patients require a peaceful atmosphere to support their physiological and psychological well-being and recovery. Medical staff are also more effective in calm conditions. Yet the constant beeping of medical equipment, alarms, telephones, and trolley and bed movements compounded by visitor interaction and staff conversations, mean that hospital environments are naturally noisy.
One study concluded that prolonged exposure to low frequency noise, such as the rumble of HVAC equipment, can raise blood pressure and stress levels and cause headaches and respiratory ailments. 58% of ICU patients rate a noisy environment as the second most frequent source of sleep disturbance, which, along with the resulting lack of rest, may have various physiological consequences on the respiratory, cardiovascular and immunological systems. Continuous high noise may impact the duration of wound healing and therefore the time patients are hospitalised.
A Secure Healing Space
Healthcare facilities are often large expansive buildings containing many people with differing levels of mobility.
Thus, in the unlikely event of a fire, it is imperative that passive fire protection is designed into the building fabric in order to contain the fire in manageable compartments and prevent it from spreading. It is equally important to provide extra fire protection to corridors, stairwells and other escape routes to ensure that people can evacuate the building safely and that firefighters can do their job effectively.
These spaces can succumb to considerable wear and tear from gurneys, wheelchairs, medical carts and other mobile hospital equipment. Walls can become damaged from repeated impact and abuse, which, in addition to affecting the aesthetics and maintenance costs, can lead to hospital-acquired injuries and the endangerment of patient and staff safety.
A Sustainable Healing Space
Every single component that goes into making a building, from the life cycle of the raw materials to its structural design, significantly impacts the well-being of its occupants and the immediate environment.
As a conscientious manufacturer of gypsum solutions, we share the responsibility to help you make a sustainable difference when selecting products and systems for constructing healthcare facilities.
At Saint-Gobain Gyproc, we have brought together a comprehensive range of partitioning, wall, floor and ceiling lining systems that have been extensively tested and have a proven track record of use in healthcare facilities. They will help you design, build and operate excellent acoustical and quality air environments, while economising on total project cost and construction time.