Towards an Improvised Healthcare Architecture post-COVID

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The Decor Journal India organized a Healthcare Conference on 28th June 2022 with speakers being the most experienced architects and medical professionals. The conference aimed to initiate the conversation around Healthcare Architecture and discuss the factors that cater to its growth. The discussion at the conference revolved around the current healthcare standards incorporated in designing at both national and international levels and evaluated the actionable measures for a better foreseeable future of the industry.

Healthcare Architecture
Ar. Manjari Gupta- Principal partner EFNRA consultants, Ar. Manu Malhotra- founding partner and director of RSMS Architects , Ar. Raavish Malhotra-founder of Raavish Malhotra Design And Associates, Dr. K. B. Sood – Managing Director of NOUS Hospital Consultants Private Limited, Ar. Deepjyoti Dhar-  Project Architect, FivD, and Ar. Divya Manaktola – founder of Attic Light Architects

The Coronavirus has affected all things and the design of architectural spaces are being reconsidered due to the same. As the panel included professionals from both the architecture and medical fields, the discussion provided insights on both architectural and technical phases of Building construction and factors that can be improved in terms of COVID resilient spaces.

Healthcare Architecture
Hospitals post corona©www.greshamsmith.com

Architect Manu Malhotra – the founding partner and director of RSMS architects, was one of the panelists and provided insights on how the hospitals should be designed with a multi-use perspective and can be used for different activities in case of emergencies. Also, in corona times we witnessed the shortage of hospital beds and other facilities, architect Manu advises making better use of negative spaces in a design. The negative spaces in healthcare architecture should be equipped with electrical, plumbing, and other services to cater to future needs.

Healthcare Architecture
Ar. Manjari Gupta- Principal partner EFNRA consultants, Ar. Manu Malhotra- founding partner and director of RSMS Architects and Ar. Raavish Malhotra-founder of Raavish Malhotra Design And Associates

Dr. K.B.Sood is a medical professional with decades of experience in the industry and currently working as the Managing Director of NOUS Hospital Consultants Private Limited. He entailed his opinions from the engineering perspective which revolved around the technical aspect of the industry. The major topic of discussion throughout his conversation was telling the architects and designers to abide by the norms and standards mentioned in the codes that regulate Healthcare Architecture construction. He firmly believes that if one sticks to the codes, it will solve maximum problems faced by hospitals currently. 

A very small example given by Dr. Sood is, that the interbed distance between two beds is 3.3 m as per the codes but designed only as 2.4, 2.8, or 3.0 m in general. Only if the architects stick to the codes and provide the respective distance, the occupancy of the hospitals can be doubled in case of emergencies. He advised providing appropriately planned spaces for barrier nursing – a place where the staff can change and separate their utilities when handling critical cases or OT patients.

Healthcare Architecture
Patient rooms in the emergency department use glass doors and negative-pressure ventilation to fully isolate infectious patients©www.bloomberg.com

The concept of Capacity Expansion Built-in design should be incorporated which will facilitate the accommodation of more patients in case of emergencies. Dr. Sood also suggested that every hospital have a medical air generation plant to deal with extreme cases. The liquid oxygen and water should not be stored for longer durations were amongst his many pointers for a better Healthcare architecture.

Healthcare Architecture
Ar. Manu Malhotra- founding partner and director of RSMS Architects , Ar. Raavish Malhotra-founder of Raavish Malhotra Design And Associates and Dr. K. B. Sood – Managing Director of NOUS Hospital Consultants Private Limited

The panel also discussed the involvement of Digital technology, Touchless equipment, and prefab construction in the Healthcare sector. Architect Divya Manaktola – Founder of Attic Light Architects, deals with small and luxurious boutique clinics and shares her insight on the factors that are involved in planning such spaces.

The Healthcare Conference brings the best of both the architectural and engineering worlds for the community to amalgamate these insights together and work towards crafting enhanced hospital facilities.

Written by Aastha Trivedi
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