Make the most of the space you've got

Make the most of the space you've got

Sep 01, 2000

By Sarah A. Chadwick, associate editor, and Julie Gurnon, editorial intern

Q. We're packed into our hospital like sardines in a can, but we can't afford to rebuild or completely renovate. How can I find more space without undergoing major construction?

A. First follow your daily routine to make a wish list of improvements, suggests Wayne Usiak, AIA, principal of BDA Architecture PC in Albuquerque, N.M., and a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member. Also ask staff members to define their daily tasks and suggest ways facility improvements could boost productivity. Then follow these tips to make the most of cramped space:

Combine multiple functions in one room. For example, a doctor's office can double as a consultation room.

Find storage opportunities over cages, in hallways, and under benches.

Use interior glass to expand your space visually.

Use nonproductive space better. For example, provide a counter workstation in treatment to replace the doctor's office, then use that office for exam or treatment space. And move archived storage off-site.

Consider such custom cabinetry options as folding exam tables and special storage closets.

No matter what size your veterinary facility is, creative thinking will likely turn up room for storage and workspaces, Usiak says.

September 2000 Veterinary Economics