Hospital environments are not exactly what you would consider a comforting setting. It can be a stressful place to be regardless of whether you’re a patient or a visitor. Just the thought of the sterile smell, the drab decor, and the metallic sounds of medical equipment, brings up feelings of discomfort and anxiety.
The world-renowned Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Singapore, however is another story completely. It was designed and built on the CEO’s request that “one’s blood pressure lowers when he/she enters the hospital grounds.” The design firm turned to greenery as the solution – and it worked wonders!
Over 700 native species of fragrant plants and trees have been integrated into the structure and its surroundings turning the hospital into a forest-like sanctuary. It’s so nice that students even go there just to study. A recent case study found that the “hospital’s lush greenery and peaceful ambiance have made it a popular spot for students seeking a conducive environment.”
The Singapore-based design firm CPG Corporation created a hospital environment that soothed and uplifted its patients. Taking into consideration that nature has been shown to have dozens of physical and mental health benefits, they took foliage and natural greenery to be the obvious solution. The hospital has served more than 800,000 patients since it opened its doors in 2010.
Vegetation isn’t the only clever detail that contributes to the hospital’s ingenious design. The facility also has enlarged windows and a spacious indoor layout which improves air flow throughout the area by 20% to 30%. This in turn reduced the building’s dependency on mechanical ventilation by 60%, which likely saves untold amounts of money in energy costs.
The best part is on top of the building. On the rooftop there is a volunteer-run garden with more than 100 species of fruit trees, 50 species of vegetables, and 50 species of herbs, all of which are served to the patients.
As a bonus, the hospital’s natural ecosystem has also been successful in supporting the growth of butterfly populations with an increasing number of butterfly species sighted on the hospital grounds increasing from 3 to 83 as of now.
The hospital has won a number of awards for its design, one of which includes the Biophilic Design Award from the International Future Living Institute, a nonprofit that supports healthier and more sustainable public spaces.
Stephen Kieran, a juror for the award, said:
What is most impressive about this project is its post-occupancy evaluation which sampled a group of 200 users comprised of patients, staff, and visitors, of whom 80% responded yes to hospitals investing in implementing biophilic elements. Thinking of nature as part of the patient hospital experience, Khoo Teck Puat continually treats staff, patients, and visitors to direct access to nature at multiple angles.
The hospital has been so successful that it has spurred the architects to launch similar projects in Malaysia, China, and Pakistan. It’s highly likely that it will continue to inspire many more around the world.
The post When Asked To Build A Hospital That Lowers Blood Pressure They Built This appeared first on Intelligent Living.
read more at https://www.intelligentliving.co by Andrea D. Steffen