Healthcare facility designers continue to further develop the concept of a “healing environment,” which includes the use of natural light, views of nature, strategic use of color and the elimination of noise, but the experts who judged the 88 entries in the 26th annual Modern Healthcare Design Awards say new hospitals will have to go way beyond that to stand out.
“I think this year's entries say that's just the baseline,” says Henry Chao, a principal and project designer with the architectural firm HOK, who served as a contest judge for the second consecutive year. “So the question becomes ‘What's next?' Are these entries the last generation of the current way of thinking, or the first generation of the next way of thinking?”
Another judge, Richard Galling, president and chief operating officer of Brookfield, Wis.-based Hammes Co., agrees and also notes how most of the entries were following the principles of the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, better known as LEED.