3 permanent veterinary design mistakes


Some design choices are tough to erase from your veterinary hospital later. Find the worst offenders here.

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Clients can easily move the seating to fit their preference at Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital in Bridgewater, N.J.

Have you ever tried to move something that's glued to the floor? It's not easy and it's certainly not fun. This is why Dan Chapel, AIA, president of Chapel Associates Architects in Little Rock, Ark., stresses the importance of making your new practice as “remodel-friendly” as possible. Here are three design choices that aren't going anywhere anytime soon, according to Chapel.

1. Built-in seating. When it comes to the waiting room, anything you build into the floor or attach to the wall could be a pain, Chapel says. Plus, he points out, the flooring probably won't go all the way under the built-in furniture, which would be even more of a hassle to fix later on.

“If you think you want to redo your waiting room-some people like to spin it around every few months to freshen up the space-you can do that with movable chairs, bistro tables, etc.,” Chapel says.

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Photo courtesy of Paul Tighe/Normandy Studio

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The 2013 Hospital of the Year (Allandale Veterinary Hospital) picked the perfect tub.

2. Concrete block bathing. Unless you're counting on the tub to serve as your tornado shelter for centuries to come, it's best to go with a design that will move without the use of a sledgehammer. “In the old days we'd install a human bathtub, but back then we didn't have options,” Chapel says. “Nowadays the easier ones to move are the stainless steel tubs with legs.”

Mike Guibault/MG Photography Studio

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Just as Chapel recommends, there's a building exit right outside this isolation exam at All Pets Animal Hospital in Katy, Texas.

3. Isolation up front. The drains and ventilation involved make isolation a real nightmare to move, Chapel says. You want it far away from where other pets will boarded, but you also want to be able to closely observe this area (Hint: Installing cameras is a great solution so the pets can be monitored in isolation 24/7.)

“Put isolation toward the back of the hospital, near an outdoor exit,” Chapel says. “If somebody calls about a contagious animal, you can have them come around back-you don't have to carry them all the way through the hospital.”

Photo courtesy of VJ Arizpe/The Photo Shop

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