Square Footage for Each Type of Room

The major part of creating a luxurious, world-class medical space is figuring out a balance between design, function, and business. Function defines what activities are intended in a room. Design blends aesthetics and flow into a cohesive space. Business ensures that the space you provide a good return (ROI) to make financial sense.

Sizing your rooms just right is crucial because space, in itself, is a luxury. The balance between inspiring confidence in your brand and utilizing your space to its full potential is a dance that requires a trained expert. Real estate is a precious commodity that must be delegated wisely, so based on our prior experience in medical work, we have collected enough data to create a recommended guide for you.

Before diving deep into the interior design and finalizing the floor plans, your designer will most likely draft an Architectural Space Program, a summary of the necessary spaces and approximate size for each anticipated activity to be provided. Work with your designer to list every single space that you will need and the equipment you plan to install for a particular room. Make it as thorough as possible, listing not only the patient areas but also the spaces for operations such as breakroom for the staff, storage for supplies, and any special equipment rooms.

The Space Program then works to account for data based on common dimensions that specify how much space will be required for a particular activity per occupant. Anthropometrics, Ergonometrics and ADA standards are taken into consideration to calculate different proportions so an occupant can freely move with ease and without obstruction. Circulation is also planned into the program to allow mobility within and between spaces.

For a typical Medical office, we are listing down the suggested square footage per area below:

  1. Lobby / Reception
    1. Reception (1 person) – 80 sq ft
    2. Reception (2 persons) – 110 sq ft
    3. Reception (3 persons) – 140 sq ft
    4. Waiting Area (1 person) – 20 sq ft
    5. Front Desk ( 2 desks) – 80 sq ft
    6. Front Desk (4 desks) – 120 sq ft
    7. Display / Retail – 30 sq ft
  2. Offices
    1. Conference Room (6-8 persons) – 150 sq ft
    2. Manager’s Office – 90 sq ft
    3. Doctor’s Office – 90 sq ft
    4. Consultation Room – 90 sq ft
  3. Treatment Area
    1. Procedure Room – 140 sq ft
    2. Treatment / Exam Rooms – 100 sq ft
    3. Minor Laboratory – 100 sq ft
    4. Major Laboratory – 700 sq ft
    5. Nurse Station (1 person) – 80 sq ft
    6. Nurse Station (2 persons) – 110 sq ft
    7. OR (Minor Surgeries) – 150 sq ft
    8. OR (Minor & Major Surgeries) – 250 sq ft
    9. OR (Major Surgeries) – 400 sq ft
    10. Recovery Room (1 bed) – 120 sq ft
    11. Patient Change – 60 sq ft
    12. ASC Waiting (1 person) – 20 sq ft
    13. Dirty / Clean – 70 sq ft
    14. UPS – 25 sq ft
    15. Med Gas – 25 sq ft
    16. Biohazard – 20 sq ft
    17. Storage – 100 sq ft
  4. General
    1. ADA Restroom – 60 sq ft
    2. Break Room – 100 sq ft
    3. Storage – 60 sq ft
    4. IT Server Room – 25 sq ft
    5. Janitor’s Area – 25 sq ft

The above are approximate areas for basic rooms with the typical number of occupants, you may increase or decrease the spaces based on your individual practice and specialty. Feel free to increase the square footage to accommodate additional users or equipment. Specialty equipment usually have clearance requirements with specifications, which should also be a factor to which space you will assign. On top of these recommendations, a 35% allowance is suggested to account for the footprint of the walls, the loss factor, and the circulation space.

For Dental Practices, the following data from Safety Net Dental Clinic Manual provides for suggested space requirements for different scales of your dental operatories.

  1. Fixed Operatories – 110 sq ft per operatory
  2. Panoramic X-ray – 30 sq ft
  3. Clean-up alcoves
    1. Clean-up alcoves (2-3 operatory clinic ) – 90 sq ft
    2. Clean-up alcove (4-8 operatory clinic ) – 100 sq ft
    3. Clean-up alcove (9-12 operatory clinic) – 150 sq ft
  4. Laboratories
    1. Laboratory (2-3 operatory clinic) – 60 sq ft
    2. Laboratory (4-8 operatory clinic) – 80 sq ft
    3. Laboratory (9-12 operatory clinic) – 120 sq ft
  5. Darkrooms
    1. Darkroom (2-8 operatory clinic, one automatic developer) – 60 sq ft
    2. Darkroom (9-16 opeartory clinic, two automatic developers) – 90 sq ft
  6. Unit Supply Areas
    1. Unit Supply Area (2-3 operatory clinic) – 40 sq ft
    2. Unit Supply Area (4-8 operatory clinic) – 80 sq ft
    3. Unit Supply Area (9-12 operatory clinic) – 120 sq ft
  7. Reception Area
    1. Reception Area (1-4 operatory clinic) – 100 sq ft
    2. Reception Area (5-7 operatory clinic) – 180 sq ft
    3. Reception Area (8-13 operatory clinic) – 240 sq ft
  8. Dental Office Managers or Dental Assistant Supervisor’s Office – 100 sq ft
  9. Non-Supervisory Dentist’s Office (add 40 sq ft for each additional dentist ) – 80 sq ft
  10. Restroom – 50-75 sq ft
  11. Lounge Area (Waiting Area)
    1. Waiting Area (1-4 operatory clinic) – 120 sq ft
    2. Waiting Area (5-7 operatory clinic) – 180 sq ft
    3. Waiting Area (8-13 operatory clinic) – 240 sq ft
  12. Janitorial Closet – 40 sq ft

How does your current office space match up against the numbers we provided here? Is there literally and figuratively any more room for improvement?

Following this template gives you a better idea on how much space you can allot. After learning these space programming concepts, it can impact your business with both thorough style and substance. Any questions or stories to tell? We love to hear your stories through text or call at (310) 359-1200. We can’t wait to see your huge success!

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