Preventing the spread of infections and diseases in medical centers is a primary goal for those in the healthcare industry. Medical professionals, interior designers and architects are working together to design spaces that will help decrease the likelihood of a disease spreading.

The importance of working conditions in healthcare
According to Health Facilities Management Magazine, medical spaces must provide good working conditions for professionals and surfaces that do not facilitate the transmission of pathogens. Infection control and prevention are key qualities in any medical center or hospital.

As Jennie Evans, R.N., LEED AP, EDAC, vice president at design firm HKS, Dallas, stated, "design is married to operations."

The use of high-quality solid surface materials that will decrease the spread of disease is a crucial component of any design.

"We need materials and surfaces that can withstand the types of cleaning that we have to do in health care environments," said Linda L. Dickey, R.N., MPH, CIC, director of epidemiology and infection prevention, University of California–Irvine, according to the news source. "For furnishings, we're looking for materials that won't easily deteriorate or crack or break, so that we can appropriately clean them. We have to clean with frequency and clean with chemicals that, for right now, are pretty hard on surfaces, and so we need materials that are resilient."

Bathroom vanity solutions for healthcare facilities
Hospitals or other medical centers looking for the right solution may want to consider specifying ASST's Modular Vanity™ System. Bathrooms are some of the hardest places to not only clean but make compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Created by ASST, this innovative wall hung vanity system utilizes a sturdy aluminum and polyethylene support structure with a thermoformed 1/4" thick removable (solid surface or resin) front panel allowing for easy access to plumbing. The vanity system is available in 30" wide increments and includes both a backsplash, side panels and an integral sink bowl. 

Easy to clean, these units are the ideal solution for a medical center or hospital because they help decrease the spread of diseases. To learn more, contact architectural support at ASST: 717.630-1251 x305 or go online and visit www.asst.com.

Creating an inviting restaurant space requires both innovative interior design and excellent cuisine. After all, diners enjoy spending time in restaurants that offer a complete experience. As a result, many restaurant owners are looking to incorporate sophisticated design elements into branding and design of their restaurants.

For example, Retail Design Blog reported that the Tanoon Mai restaurant in Chatswood, Australia, has recently been renovated so that the walls are a mix of indigenous colors, textures and patterns. The fun and funky atmosphere is intended to encourage patrons to feel relaxed and have a fun time.

ASST recently completed work for Macy's flagship Herald Square New York City location with a new high-end Italian restaurant, Stella 34 Trattoria. ASST performed the fabrication & installation of the curved thermoformed solid surface upholstered seating booths as well as walnut millwork waiter stations throughout the new restaurant. Be sure to check out the images of this job on our new website at www.asst.com. Besides the interiors being special, the food has been getting rave reviews in New York Magazine and other publications. Be sure to check it out!

More and more companies are looking to put their branding mark on the office spaces they are inhabiting. Take for example Google's office in New York City, New York. This tech-giant is known for its over-the-top perks, but did you know the company also outfits its offices with unique features that are intended to stimulate the imaginations of workers and create a fun atmosphere?

Google's New York City office has desirable features like a make-it-yourself snack and sandwich bar, an open-area recreation room, a computer museum, a LEGO wall and a scrolling screen showing recent searches people are making on the search engine. While all of these characteristics are fun, not every office can have such an out-of-the box appeal. Typically, companies in the financial industry or other, more traditional industries, try to take a much more conservative design approach.

Regardless of design style, selecting a durable wall panel system with proven performance characteristics such as SCULPTCOR™ by ASST will provide exceptional versatility because of its various textures and characteristics. SCULPTCOR is a patented thermoformed architectural wall panel system that takes inspiration from diverse elements and forms found in nature. The system is fabricated from non-porous, durable, stain-resistant, and easy to clean solid surface. For more traditional offices, even a simple accent wall with SCULPTCOR wall panels can bring a modern twist to a typical interior office space.

SCULPTCOR by ASST can be utilized in a variety of project applications such as wall panels, column covers, retail facades, elevator cladding, casework, ceiling panels and furniture. Complete Autodesk SEEK™ 3D REVIT file and 2D standard details and specifications are available for download. Please visit the Autodesk SEEK website for more information.

The wall panel sizes are 24"x64" nominally and are presently available in three standard patterns: Twist, Wave and Smooth. Panel reveals can be specified either straight or curved in five (5) standard colors: pure white, cream, warm white, frozen white and white lotus.  There are no minimum orders. Please contact project estimating for pricing. Additional colors and special panel sizes are available. The largest uncut pressed panel size available is 29.5" x 72" Please contact ASST at 717.630.1251 x305 for architectural support or x307 for specific project estimating assistance.

In the fast-paced world of healthcare development, hospitals and medical practices are working to provide the right blend of substance and design aesthetic to patients and staff. According to architects interviewed by Healthcare Design Magazine, buildings are now being designed to accommodate the changing healthcare environment. New technologies and procedures are being produced at such a pace that designers are needing to looking into their crystal ball to try and determine what space is needed where to try and accommodate these changes. 

As you can imagine, this creates some difficulties, but designers are managing. What becomes more interesting is the focus on aesthetic appeal in these medical spaces. More and more hospitals and medical practices are focusing on making spaces beautiful and inviting, without negatively impacting functionality. This is where ASST comes into the equation and offers solutions that are both function-oriented and beautiful for hospitals and medical practices. SCULPTCOR™ by ASST is a patented thermoformed architectural wall panel system that takes inspiration from diverse elements and forms found in nature. The system is fabricated from non-porous, durable, stain-resistant, and easy to clean solid surface. The wall panel sizes are 24×64 nominally and are presently available in three standard patterns: Twist, Wave and Smooth. Panel reveals can be specified either straight or curved in five (5) standard colors: pure white, cream, warm white, frozen white and white lotus. Additional colors and special panel sizes are available. The largest uncut pressed panel size available is 29.5" x 72"

SCULPTCOR™ by ASST can be utilized in a variety of project applications such as wall panels, column covers, retail facades, elevator cladding, casework, ceiling panels and furniture. Complete Autodesk 3D REVIT file and 2D standard details and specifications are available for download on the Autodesk SEEK website.

Please contact ASST at 717.630.1251 x305 for architectural support.

There's certainly no debating the fact that the functionality of a newly constructed hospital is the principle concern. The goal, ultimately, is to be able to efficiently serve as many patients as possible by giving doctors, nurses and other staff members the space and tools they need.

At the same time though, this doesn't mean that architects and designers should be completely disregarding the appearance and aesthetic value of the hospitals they're designing. The influence of hospitality design is infiltrating other market areas. A recent Healthcare Design Magazine article, for instance, noted that the function of hospital lobbies, specifically, have changed significantly in recent years. Whereas they once served as a simple point of entry and place to gather initial information, lobbies now serve as a means of orienting visitors and even a waiting area for both visitors and patients.

"Lobbies have the power to charm, dazzle, and entice you," Michael Bedner, chairman and CEO of interior design consultant Hirsch Bedner Associates, told the publication. "Guests' impressions of what they are about to experience both start and end with the lobby. That's why lobby design — the visual images, the total sensory experience — is so important."

The balance between offering a caring, yet professional environment for hospital patients and visitors can be met in a number of ways from a design perspective. SCULPTCOR™, is a patented thermoformed architectural wall panel system created by  ASST, that is not only durable and stain-resistant, but can also provide a more upscale hotel-like hospitality environment.

One specific aspect of the hospital interiors that can make a major impression is lighting. Lighting is known to have a subtle, subconscious effect on individuals' moods, a particularly crucial concern for hospitals that want to offer as soothing, relaxing an atmosphere as possible. SCULPTCOR™ can also be done as LED backlighted custom ceiling elements as shown below in the ceiling completed for Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. Please contact us at 717-630-1251 x305 or www.asst.com for further information.

For hotel executives seeking to garner a positive reaction from guests there are more than a few things to consider. What technologies are offered and how soothing is the decor are considerations often at the forefront of everyone's mind, reports Metropolis Magazine. However, ever since the latest revision of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), architects who specialize in designing hotels must make sure that every person can enjoy the wonders of their creations. 

Hotel Executive reports that ensuring that even disabled patrons can use hotel facilities and accommodations is especially crucial – not only on a customer service level, but also because the U.S. Department of Justice has been cracking down on ADA violations and scrutinizing hotels. 

When it comes time to renovate or build surface solutions, ASST has the design solutions. For bathrooms, one of the hardest spaces to make ADA compliant, ASST's Modular Vanity System offers the right combination of beauty and practicality. The vanities are highly durable and constructed with a stout polyethylene frame and then covered with an attractive, but tough, solid surface, which is nonporous and discourages the growth of mildew, mold and fungi. This combination of features allows the vanities to not only appear aesthetically pleasing in multiple finishes, but also remain practical for public spaces.

The vanities are wall hung, which decreases wear and tear and allows those who are using wheelchairs or other devices to still get close enough to the sink and other surfaces. For more information on the ASST Modular Vanity System, please visit www.asst.com

As architects and hotel professionals look into renovating or designing a new hospitality space, it's important to consider and weigh design versus compliance options. However, not all choices have to be either or. With the right answer, a designer can achieve the look and feel he or she wants without negatively impacting ADA compliance regulations. 

Ask any five architects to identify the best, most innovative new trends in their industry, and you could get five different answers. But ask some of the most renowned technological conglomerates in the world, and it seems that more and more their answer has become "Bigger, more complex, is better."

Wired reports that the architectural trend sweeping through the tech giants – most notably including Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook – is robust, expansive (and expensive) structures that look more like they belong in a science fiction film. The "Silicon Swagger," as Wired dubs it, represents a new modern look at commercial architecture. It's no secret that the major players in this architectural trend are the largest global companies, though, as the design and implementation of the individual headquarters will most certainly cost a pretty penny. 

Let's take Apple as the prime example. Scheduled to open its doors in Cupertino, California, in 2016, the headquarters for arguably the most prominent information technology company in the world looks similar to an alien spaceship designed to hold 12,000 employees, according to Wired. 

Amazon wildlife
Taking a cue from its name, Amazon's new headquarters being designed in Seattle, Washington, include three glass-dome structures that can reportedly function similar to a greenhouse and are capable of housing plant life, the Los Angeles Times notes. For its part, Amazon has said that the unique office environment will offer a number of benefits to employees that "are not often found in a typical office setting," according to the news source. 

Though it may seem like the tech giants are simply trying to one-up each other (and they likely are), however, the buildings will also be steeped in the latest sustainable energy solutions as well. 

The rise of translucent resin fabrications
The overarching theme of the architectural design innovations being implemented by these corporate giants is a more modern, sleek, eye-catching contemporary architecture. Along these same lines, many companies are turning to interior solutions such as solid surface materials and translucent resin fabrications like 3Form®.

ASST Beyond Surface Level Solutions has performed work utilizing resin for educational institutions such as Temple University and for the hospitality style amenities found at United Therapeutics in Silver Spring, Maryland. ASST has proven capabilities to work with these advanced materials and to take on project challenges others avoid, bringing to the table a passion for excellence to go beyond and build what some initially thought was impossible.

With companies like Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook leading the way, advanced, highly specialized solutions like these will only continue to gain prominence across the country and around the world.

For further information on ASST's innovative products and services, visit www.asst.com. 

Across the nation, hospitals and various medical groups are stepping up their game concerning pediatric care in terms of new facilities. Healthcare Design Magazine reports that despite the sluggish economy and tightening budgets, many hospitals are investing in either renovating or building new pediatric facilities. 

"What's fueling pediatric projects is the successful ability to raise funds and enact fundraising projects," said J. Patrick Schultz, director of EwingCole's Washington, D.C., healthcare practice, according to the news source. "While hospital budgets remain tight, major donors and benefactors will always find a way to donate for children's facilities."

Funding for pediatric care centers is increasing as demand rises for new, high-quality facilities. According to the news source, the demand is, in part, the result of previous short sights in constructing friendly and efficient children's medical centers. 

"There are pockets of children's networks or hospitals around the United States that have a national name or a national brand, but there really haven't been too many hospitals dedicated to the needs of younger populations," Andrew Quirk, senior vice president and national director, Healthcare Center of Excellence, Skanska USA Building, told the news source. 

These children's facilities are being outfitted with age-appropriate materials, design and systems. For the maternity and infant toddler centers, baby bathing bowls remain a standard need. The solid surface design solutions crafted by ASST are ideal for nurseries and delivery rooms. By using these bowls, children's heads and bottom are safely positioned to reduce the chance of an accident occurring. The Cradle™ Baby Bowl by ASST was developed in collaboration with labor and delivery nursing teams to provide a design solution that was integrally mounted, seamless and provided the proper ergonomic support for a child. ASST created the bathing bowl design utilizing patented thermoforming technologies resulting in a product solution that has been utilized for hospital systems throughout North America. For more information about ASST's Cradle™ Baby Bowl, please contact us at 717-630-1251 x305 or visit www.asst.com.