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Natural Light & Hospital Architecture: Providing Tangible Benefits for Patients

By July 19, 2018 No Comments

Tensile Facades Provide Tangible Benefits for PatientsWhether discussing productivity of office workers or recovery times for hospital patients, it’s long been understood that access to natural light is beneficial for the human condition in countless ways.  Architects are posed with a unique challenge when designing new constructions or renovations for medical facilities because unobstructed windows often aren’t an option due to privacy needs, glare issues, and health concerns.  Tensile facades made from technologically advanced membranes provide a superior solution for maximizing natural light while providing a myriad of additional benefits for hospitals.

Background of Natural Light and Its Impact on Patients

In the recent article “Daylight Benefits in Healthcare Buildings,” BRE Group (an independent, research-based consultancy organization) compiled a comprehensive synopsis of global research associated with sunlight, patient care, and recovery times.  Their findings are of particular importance to architects working on medical facility projects.

As a general overview, the article states:

The research findings provide compelling evidence that access to daylight provides; a reduction in the average length of hospital stay, quicker post-operative recovery, reduced requirements for pain relief, quicker recovery from depressive illness and disinfectant qualities.

In short, access to natural sunlight plays an integral role in the patients’ experience from the perspectives of healing, mental wellbeing, exposure to dangerous bacteria, and long-term prevention of certain health conditions.

Solutions for Supporting Natural Light in Hospital Designs

The traditional method for overcoming challenges associated with natural light exposure in medical facilities (privacy, glare, and sun damage – as referenced above) was to incorporate blinds or shades into the interior designs.  Facilities also often explored external window treatments.  However, these traditional options detract from the architect’s vision for the structure, create a disjointed appearance to the building’s exterior, and often limit access to the healing nature of sunlight.

Tensile facades use advanced tensioned membranes to wrap the building’s envelope in a UV-protective “second skin” – which adds to the building’s design while overcoming those design challenges, minimizing solar heat gain, and preserving patients’ valuable exposure to diffused natural light.

From energy efficiency to limitless design opportunities, tensile facades have opened a world of opportunity for architects who are searching for innovative ways to create both functional and iconic structures.

Are Tensile Facades Right for Your Project?

In the Tension Structures Division of Eide Industries, we specialize in design, engineering, manufacturing, and installation of structurally complex and creatively challenging commercial, government, and prototype design projects.  Our expertise with tensile facade systems and tension structures supports architects, designers, general contractors, and building owners in their efforts to bring custom tensile membrane projects to life.

Explore the options for your next project by calling 800-422-6827.