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Designing healthcare spaces with flexibility and durability in mind

New in health care is the challenge for designers and architects to design health care facilities that will last for decades and longer. Design professionals are being charged with the responsibility of designing healthcare structures that are ideal for current technology, but are also flexible and durable enough to transform spaces easily and affordably.

Healthcare Design Magazine reported that the new Center for Care and Discovering on the University of Chicago Medicine's campus was designed with the intention of doing just that. The 1.2 million square-foot center is relatively low to the ground at only 10 stories and was built to be the ultimate in transformative design.

"On our site visits, we saw some hospitals that had ORs on two floors, which worked just fine," said Elizabeth Lockwood, project manager for University of Chicago Medicine, according to the news source. "But we liked the idea of having just one big floor. The units can flex over time in size. [Also, one floor cuts down on travel time for staff]."

According to the news source, the client desired a structure that would last for 100 years and adapt to the changing needs of the healthcare industry. In the last 100 years, healthcare and the technologies used for treatment have undergone a rapid transformation. This new building is intended to take the evolutionary nature of the industry and adapt without major problems. This was managed with the inclusion of a very walking-friendly design, a lot of natural light and easily adaptable spaces.

"The development of the universal grid was a response to optimizing all major hospital programmatic platforms within a singular structural grid," said Elizabeth Rack, principal, Cannon Design, according to the news source. "The importance of the universal grid is heightened by a building of this size and complexity where different programs are stacked vertically."

This new trend toward smart-design medical centers is expected to continue to grow as more and more facilities adopt this transformative ideal. Architects & designers are specifying interior finish materials that are also expected to be adaptable, durable and practical. ASST can help you meet these challenges by providing quality solutions  in solid surface, translucent resin materials as well as millwork and plastic laminate.

Listed below are just a few of the design solutions we offer our healthcare clients:

• Full package Division 6 casework (available in a variety of materials)
• OR paneling
• Trespa™ wall panels
• Toilet partitions
• SCULPTCOR®   wall panel system (with hard seam joints)
• Modular Vanity™ System
• MatchLine™ Stainless Sinks
• Cradle™ Baby Bowl

For further information on ASST's comprehensive offerings for health care, visit www.asst.com or contact ASST architectural support 717.630.1251 x305.

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