AJN On the Cover
On our cover this month is an interior look at the lobby and three-story atrium of Phoenix Children's Hospital's new 11-story patient tower. This expansion is intended to help the hospital—already one of the 10 largest freestanding children's hospitals in the country—serve the needs of Arizona's rapidly growing pediatric population. The architectural firm HKS Inc. was commissioned to create a sustainable design that would also provide a calm and healing environment for patients and families. The result is a welcoming, comforting space that emulates the natural beauty of the hospital's surrounding mountains and desert.
Innovative design features include the vertical layout of the building—in which “stacking” ambulatory and inpatient spaces reduces the distances medical and support staff have to travel—strategic day-lighting, and the inclusion in all patient rooms of seating areas with computer access for families.
As much as the new tower is designed to be in tune with its surroundings, it is even more responsible to the environment. Its shape maximizes daylight potential while minimizing heat gain, and well-shaded outdoor courtyards result in reduced energy usage. Local materials were used in the tower's construction, with a focus on minimizing off-gassing and maximizing recycled products. The facility's reductions in water usage achieved savings of 5.5 million gallons of water a year, compared with standard systems.
For more on sustainable health care environments, including a list of valuable resources for those interested in helping to transform their facilities, see “Greening the ‘Proclamation for Change’: Healing Through Sustainable Health Care Environments” in this issue.—Michael Fergenson, senior editorial coordinator