Innovative Design Trends for Health-Care Environments

From doors, hardware, and access control to rolling shades and flexible walls, the latest design advances make a positive impact on patient care and facility ROI
[ Page 4 of 4 ]      
Sponsored by AD Systems, AMBICO Limited, dormakaba, Clickeze® Privacy Systems, a division of Inpro®, and SIMONSWERK North America
This test is no longer available for credit

Fenestration, Daylighting, and Controlling Heat Gain in Behavioral Facilities

The final topic we’ll discuss here are products that aid in maximizing the benefits of daylighting and also control heat gain. As our main example, we’ll take a look at roller shades and the benefits they bring to health-care settings, with a specific focus on mental health/behavioral facilities.

Roller Shades

The benefits of roller shades lie in the ability to take advantage of daylighting and control heat gain, while still allowing for an outdoor view depending on the fabric’s openness pattern. In addition, allowing patients to adjust the level of light or brightness increases their sense of control.

Experts note that it is important to select shades specifically manufactured for use in behavioral facilities. They should feature:

  • enclosed security roller boxes,
  • cordless operation,
  • durable fabrics that are easy to clean but difficult to damage, and
  • locking devices that resist tampering by patients. On this last point, cordless roller shades can be much more cost effective and offer lower maintenance than encased blinds.
roller shades in a hospital room.

Photo courtesy of Inpro

Roller shades can offer numerous benefits—from allowing in natural light to providing patients with a greater sense of control of their environment.

Printed roller shades: Printed roller shades provide all the same benefits but go a step further. Again, the introduction of nature scenes has a benefit of reducing patient stress. An additional benefit of healing window treatments is that they reduce destruction where framed artwork is not allowed. There is anecdotal evidence from administrators at several behavioral health facilities that patients tend to not vandalize window shades in spaces where printed shades were installed. Patients appreciated the printed images and were less likely to damage or destroy them, due in part to decreased anxiety.

MultiCare Indigo outpatient clinics.

Photo courtesy of Inpro

Personnel at behavioral health facilities report that patients were less likely to vandalize printed window shades.


According to a recently published article in Global Advances in Health and Medicine, “The U.S. health-care system is facing unprecedented challenges related to escalating costs, an aging population, health-care reform, and a struggling economy. In light of these challenges, there is an urgency to evaluate and implement new approaches and models of care with emphasis not just on curing disease but on prevention, wellness, and managing population health.” It goes on to say that “aligning mission and purpose with business strategies” is a powerful driver of financial success. Research conducted by Gallup scientists concluded that “mission can drive margin through loyalty, customer engagement, strategic alignment, and clarity for decision-making and priorities.”2

That said, with product advancements such as those discussed in this course, architects and designers are armed with the tools they need to continue working toward a goal of maximizing efficiencies and functionality in health-care settings—always with patient care and occupant well-being in mind. From optimizing acoustics, reducing infections, and creating safe passage down hallways and into patient rooms to safety and security concerns and structural integrity, these products as well as a host of others will continue to support the needs of patients and their family members as well as staff and facility owners.

End notes

1Huisman, E.R.C.M. et al. “Healing environment: A review of the impact of physical environmental factors on users.” Building and Environment. Volume 58, Pages 70–80. December 2012. Web. 7 Nov. 2017.

2Sakallaris, Bonnie R. et all. “The Business Case for Optimal Healing Environments.” Global Advances in Health and Medicine. 1 Jan. 2016. Web. 7 Nov. 2017.


[ Page 4 of 4 ]      
Originally published in Architectural Record


Innovative Design Trends for Health-Care Environments
Buyer's Guide
AD Systems ExamSlide
ExamSlide is a sliding door system designed specifically for the unique needs of health-care projects. ExamSlide can be customized with wood or aluminum and glass doors, a range of sizes, smoke-rated and acoustic performance options, and ADA-compliant locking and latching hardware.
Bullet-Resistant Wood Doors and Steel Frames
The Major Hospital in Indianapolis required bullet-resistant doors for personnel and patient safety in the emergency room and surrounding areas. All assemblies had to comply with UL 752 ballistic standards. AMBICO’s ability to provide standard and custom side lites and borrowed lites proved critical to providing complete and effective solutions on the project.
AMBICO Limited
Formatrac® Bendable Cubicle Track
Easily eliminate the hassle associated with traditional track installation and design with Formatrac® Bendable Track. It can be bent by hand on the job-site so installation is simple. Additionally, because of its flexible nature, Formatrac can accommodate virtually any design. Quiet, too, thanks to our patented track and carrier design.
Clickeze® Privacy Systems, a division of Inpro®
ED100 Automatic Swing Door Operator
The versatile ED100 from dormakaba can function as either a low-energy operator or a power-operated pedestrian unit. This complete factory-engineered door system is ideal for ADA-compliant entrance applications. With a multitude of adjustable features, you have the flexibility to fine tune the operator to meet opening requirements.
VARIANT: The Adjustable Hinge System for Commercial Doors
The VARIANT series offers three-way adjustable hinge systems for wide, heavy-duty doors that require a robust and stable hinge. After being used successfully in Europe for many years in high-frequency commercial applications, this proven concept has been tailored to fit the needs of the North American marketplace.
SIMONSWERK North America