Good buildings make you better. That’s the conclusion of a growing body of research linking the architecture of hospitals with the health and wellbeing of patients and staff. “Evidence-based design”, which blends information on human behaviour with traditional design tools, has been shown to reduce treatment times and medication, decrease levels of aggression and support better sleeping patterns and calmness.
Developed in the UK , ASPECT (A Staff and Patient Environmental Calibration Tool) provides a consistent, comprehensive approach to “healing architecture” that has now been adopted in several countries around the world. It identifies eight important elements that characterise better healthcare environments:
- Privacy, company, dignity: the ability for patients to be alone or with others when they choose, and to be able to control what they see and hear
- Views: research shows that light levels and being able to see outside stimulate recovery
- Nature and outdoors: contact with nature is proven to be therapeutic and calming
- Comfort and control: patients feel empowered when they can control their exposure to light, heat and noise in busy hospital environments
- Legibility of place: hospitals should be intuitive to navigate
- Interior appearance: pleasant, cosy surroundings can reduce recovery times
- Staff: when staff spaces are better, people work more effectively
Materials have an important influence on the appearance and “feel” of a building and its interior spaces. Choosing materials that foster a comfortable, calm and aesthetically-pleasing environment helps to create spaces where people heal and recover faster. Rockfon ceilings provide sound absorption and light reflection, making rooms more comfortable to be in. And they do not support the growth of harmful micro-organisms or bacteria, contributing to creating healthy indoor environments.