“The choices you make today, design your future.” – Deepak Chopra
The market is overflowing with interior finishes that we are spoiled for choice. Shortlisting materials based on a solid criteria make sure that we are thorough and intentional about the selection process. When choosing materials for the medical field, you have to consider materials that are easy to maintain, so you can focus your time, money, and energy on what matters the most – serving your patients. Follow this blog to get more clarity about the five “S” to take into consideration when choosing materials for your medical space:
Safety is first in our list because it not only saves you aches, it can even save you headaches in lawsuits. As a result, choose materials that are safe, non-toxic, and accident-prone. Materials need to be qualified based on safety to make sure that exposure to your Medical Space will not cause anyone – the patients or your staff to get sick or get injured. Non-skid floors, either in vinyl or tile, ensure that it will have enough traction even to avoid slipping, even when wet or against tractionless shoes. Read more about Going Green to learn alternatives to toxic building materials and what to look for such as Zero-VOC for painted finishes.
Choose materials that are consistent with the design concept drawn up by your designer so that it ties to your branding. This actually reins in the options you will choose because the market is flooded with so much choice. Selecting materials with intention is a sure way to shop wisely and . Always make sure that the style is cohesive to your story. Place the different materials with each other, and experiment grouping them with other textures and patterns. This is when the importance of finding your WHY comes into play. Once you have solidified your why, the styles and the story comes naturally, almost inevitably! Listen to your intuition when it comes to materials; if it deeply resonates with you and your story, then consult your designer on how to make it work.
Choose materials that are consistent with the agreed specifications of the designer. This qualifies the materials into a set criteria that defines the expectation and level of performance needed from each material. This also safeguards the client from cost overruns and aligns with the project’s construction budget.
Sterile, anti-microbial materials will maintain the strict medical protocols against contamination. We’ve written before about the amazing properties of copper in this blog and there are materials out there that have coatings that promise a similar effect.
PORCELANOSA is a brand that offers a solid surface product that promises revolutionary anti-bacterial properties worth noticing. Krion promises not only can bacteria not grow in the material but actual elimination when it comes in contact with the active material.
Materials need to be easy to maintain (like Wilsonart’s Quartz Countertops) and sanitized to maintain the standards of a Medical space that will give a positive patient experience. This requires pre planning ensuring that the design will be conducive to easy maintenance. So if you have an interior design feature that is complex or will be a pain to maintain like a textured wall or a complex reception desk, chances are it will be. Either you augment with additional cleaning attention during operations or save the hassle and just opt for a simpler design.
Floors and walls can have finishes like washable paint or nano-coated tiles that make dust and other particles just slide-off. Think of maintenance when choosing materials. Most suppliers have defined cleaning instructions which spell out what products can be used which will not damage the material. Look out for specialized products other than traditional cleaning solutions because they will make upkeep for those materials cost more.
Not all materials are made the same, and each need to be reviewed based on their own merits. The key takeaway here is to be intentional in what level of performance you want your Medical Space to be. Choosing the right material for the right job makes sure that you will be a building that fits into your story to create a healing environment. Remember, we are here to help you and hold your hand in this process.