If health buildings really want to move the needle when it comes to sustainable design, they need to truly commit to creating builds that can stand longer tests of time.
That’s the opening and central argument of Tonia Burnette’s new piece for Becker’s Hospital Review, an editorial that explores the value of longer life cycles for buildings and ideas on how organizations can create them. Burnette points to designing for universal intent, modularity and considering modular futures as key ways owners can improve building life.
Below are key excerpts from Burnette’s editorial:
On Designing with Universal Intent
Health organizations need to have agile real estate assets that allow them to rethink service offerings and reconfigure physical spaces as necessary Utilizing a structural grid provides one solution to the elusive goal of “future proofing” a health sciences facility….designs employing the universal grid have proven almost extraordinarily adaptable. Moreover, facilities leveraging the grid can reduce the typical 10-18 month span from facility planning to groundbreaking up to 80%. This saves money and means a building can begin its useful life even sooner.
On Planning for Multiple Futures
Health organizations need to consider multiple futures from the outset of any facility project so they maximize their value, life and resiliency. This often leads to more up-front costs, but it better prepares organizations to leverage their real estate into the future. At a base level, multiple futures imply that if you’re considering two different sized pieces of equipment, design for the larger piece even if you buy the smaller one. The future flexibility is worth the nominally higher initial investment.