Sneak peek: The 2011 Hospital Design Supplement

Here's an early glimpse at this year's issue, which focuses on designing your facility with your team members in mind.
May 17, 2011
By staff

This year’s Hospital Design Supplement, which will be packaged with the June issue of Veterinary Economics, is all about your team. Or, more specifically, how you can design your facility to give your employees a dreamlike work environment. Here’s an exclusive preview of our cover story, “25 ways to make your team love your hospital”:

11. Use calming paint colors.
A veterinary practice can be a stressful place, so take every step you can to create a calm, soothing environment. That includes paint colors. Opt for cool colors, like blue, violet, and green—particularly in staff areas—to encourage a feeling of Zen.

12. Purchase premade partitions to separate runs.
While many practices use painted block walls to separate runs, premade partitions are much easier to clean and maintain, says Wayne Usiak, AIA, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and owner of BDA Architecture in Albuquerque, N.M.. Concrete block connects to the floor with mortar and therefore collects dust. It also needs to be periodically repainted. Premade partitions may cost a little more initially, but they’ll save time and effort in the long run. “That small change really makes everyone’s life better,” Usiak says.

13. Install carpet behind the reception desk.
Tile and other hard-surface flooring make it awkward for wheeled chairs to roll—they’ll either roll too easily or make loud clacking noises as they pass over the grout lines. Instead, try installing a nice commercial carpet that’s easy to clean, says Dan Chapel, AIA, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and owner of Chapel Associates Architects in Little Rock, Ark.. You might even consider using carpet tiles. If part of the carpet becomes stained or damaged, you can easily replace a tile or two.

Stay tuned for the full article, both in print and online. But in the meantime, be sure to check out the Design Center at for your daily fix of photos, videos, and articles to help guide your project.