What are today's biggest trends in veterinary hospital construction and design?
Q: What are today's biggest trends in veterinary hospital construction and design?
A: Practices are offering more outpatient services than ever before, says Mark Hafen, AIA, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and architect at Animal Arts/Gates Hafen Cochrane in Boulder, Colo. Veterinarians are including more exam rooms and devoting more space to special procedures and imaging. And with more outpatient services being performed, many hospitals need less animal holding space.
Veterinary hospitals are also becoming more efficient, Hafen says. Recession-minded veterinarians are building simpler, smaller facilities with more space-efficient layouts featuring one-door exam rooms, pods of exam rooms, and exam rooms that double as treatment rooms. Technological advances have also driven down square footage, with state-of-the-art equipment taking up less space. Also, the trend toward more outpatient services helps to reduce the need for costly areas like surgery suites and wards.
Finally, more practice owners are building green, Hafen says. Green facilities make good business sense—buildings with more natural light, better insulation, heat recovery systems, and high-efficiency furnaces and hot water heaters can reduce utility costs and appease environmentally conscious clients, Hafen says. (For more, visit dvm360.com and search "10 ways to build green.")