General hospitals are on the frontline of public healthcare services. Every day these critical facilities – and the people who staff them – respond to a wide range of medical emergencies and conditions, providing vital, often life-saving, care to a rising number of patients.
The diverse and complex needs of the people who visit these buildings present a number of design challenges. Staff need access to various specialist medical resources fast, while care rooms must be able to adapt to the rapidly changing requirements. Importantly, vulnerable acute patients need to be protected from the risk of infection.
Engineering Acute and General Hospitals
From large-scale, new build hospitals to upgrades of existing acute facilities, we always place the wellbeing of patients and care staff at the heart of our designs.
Surrey Memorial Hospital Acute Care Tower
It is our people-centred approach that has won us the privilege of working on some of the most advanced acute hospitals in the world. In British Columbia, a scheme to create the province’s largest ever healthcare centre typifies our approach. This acute facility provides patients with suites that are flooded with natural light and offer ample space to visitors, helping to create a warm and positive care setting.
At Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, for example, we consulted with clinical staff and patients to gain an insight into the kind of space that would best facilitate the healing process. The result is a hospital that makes full use of green space, featuring terraced gardens at every level of its main towers, and making outdoor space available for patients to enjoy. Our designs are also informed by the latest and best science about how to promote patient welfare. At Surrey Memorial Hospital over 80% of acute care rooms are single-patient and include a ‘family zone’. Privacy, quiet and family contact have all been proven to aid the healing process.
Making Power-Hungry Buildings More Energy Efficient
General hospitals provide care around-the-clock. That means highly serviced buildings with extensive energy needs with zero margin for error in meeting their occupants’ needs.
Our track record demonstrates that even large, power-hungry hospitals can be beacons of sustainability. Queen Elizabeth University Hospital uses one of the largest concrete frames ever built in Europe yet is a model of energy and resource efficiency. Box Hill Hospital, Victoria’s largest suburban health infrastructure project, achieved a 4-star Green Star rating for its use of sustainable initiatives.
Queen Elizabeth University Hospital
Adapting Hospitals to Medical Care Advances
Acute care brings together a vast array of medical specialities under one roof creating complex design challenges. Not least is the fact that each medical area is constantly advancing as research and technological advances deliver better treatments year by year. It is vital that hospitals can adapt to offer critical patients the best and latest of these.
WSP excels at creating hospitals capable of housing the most advanced treatments available, bringing new hope to patients and their families. Our building systems can cope with the needs of the most delicate and sensitive machines and equipment like those installed at George Washington University Hospital, which offers one of the most advanced acute heart care centres in the US.
Kwong Wah Hospital Redevelopment
Bringing Designs to Life with New Technologies
We understand that our clients rely on their buildings to provide an infrastructure that enables care staff to carry out their vital work. And this infrastructure must be provided in a highly efficient way allowing healthcare providers to focus their time, and budgets, on their core role of looking after patients.
We make full use of state-of-the-art techniques to design and implement our projects. Through the latest Building Information Modelling (BIM) techniques we can bring ideas to life, analyzing how buildings would perform in reality, finely tuning and optimizing our designs and construction techniques.
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center
Building Adaptable Structures
Populations around the world are ageing, and hospitals built today need to withstand the pressure on their services tomorrow. Each acute hospital project, whether an existing building in need of modernization or a new build, represents a long term investment.
Creating space with the flexibility to adapt to new uses or clinical techniques is important. We design building systems with one eye on the future to produce buildings with inbuilt longevity. Our floor plans and systems can readily adapt to a sudden change of use, for example, a disaster scenario.
George Washington University Hospital
Our designers and engineers future-proof every aspect of our buildings. Fit outs need to be easy to maintain and look good year after year; building services need to house emerging technology that will become tomorrow’s ‘norm’; building structures need to withstand the effects of climate change; and power systems need to work efficiently as energy costs continue to rise.
This constant reference to the future is especially important in long running projects. For example, our work to redevelop Hong Kong’s Kwong Wah Hospital will complete in 2025. By then a new generation of technology will be standard, while demand for frontline medical services – in one of the most populous places on earth – will have soared.