Salutogenic hospital design : how can the benefits of natural light be harnessed to create stress-reducing and healing healthcare environments?
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Citation:Isler, S. (2016). Salutogenic hospital design : how can the benefits of natural light be harnessed to create stress-reducing and healing healthcare environments? Explanatory document. An unpublished research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional), Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/3624
In recent years, the main priorities of hospital design have been function, efficiency and cost. This has too often resulted in unattractive and unpleasant clinical spaces where patients are seen as machines needing to be ‘fixed’, friends and whānau are seen as a nuisance, and staff are tired and stressed. A great deal of research has been conducted however, exploring a more holistic approach to human wellness, where the notion that the human being is a perfect organism which is every now and then attacked and damaged is no longer accepted. Instead, it is acknowledged that mental and physical health are interdependent and that every person is located somewhere on a continuum of health to illness and the question can always be asked ‘how can this person be healthier?’ This project explores salutogenic (or health promoting) design and how the architectural properties of natural light can be harnessed to positively in uence patient, staff and visitor wellness in a hospital setting. The process involves understanding, exploring and categorising different types of natural light, identifying the potential wellness outcomes of each type, developing a natural lighting strategy and ultimately applying this to different spaces within a hospital building. A new ward tower is proposed for the North Shore Hospital campus. This is relevant because the existing wards on this site have been identified by the Waitemata District Health Board as insufficient (in both design and size) and plans for new wards are currently underway. The new tower proposed in this project is designed only to an extent where a variety of different spaces are allowed to emerge in order for the application and analysis of the natural lighting strategy. This project remains theoretical and following this research the next step would be to apply this strategy to a healthcare building and measure wellness outcomes of patients and staff. Measurable wellness indicators include length of stay, intake of pain medication and subjective pain/happiness scores before and after the natural lighting intervention.