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TABLE AB-1Well-Being Needs Relevant to Hospital Design and Their Supporting Environmental Features and Attributes

Well-Being NeedsSupporting Environmental Features
Social and emotional supportVisiting and overnight spaces in patient rooms for family and other visitors; social amenities such as cafes, lounges, crafts rooms
Natural levels of sensory stimulationReduced noise from people and equipment; more sound absorbing materials such as carpet, acoustical tile, soft surfaces; access to positive sounds (music and nature sounds such as birds, wind, water movement)

Daylight and access to views of the outdoors

Operable windows (where feasible) in patient rooms to allow for breezes and connection to outdoor sounds

Reduced light intensity or use of personal controls in patient rooms
An aesthetically pleasing environmentReduced look and feel of an institutional setting through better use of color, sensory variation, interesting décor, natural materials, elements of surprise or novelty, and patterned complexity of features
Opportunities for recreational activitiesAccess to art materials and recreational spaces; music and art therapy; use of headphones to deliver music and reduce unwanted noise; flooring materials that aid movement (e.g., carpeting versus slippery floors)
Connection to nature and natural processesViews of outdoor nature and sunlight; access to gardens and gardening; indoor sunlight
PrivacySingle occupancy rooms; privacy nooks; visually interesting screening or other moveable partitions at bedside
Rest and recoveryReduced noise; presence of healing gardens and pleasant outdoor spaces; views of nature from bedside

SOURCE: Heerwagen (2006, unpublished).

From: Presentation Abstracts

Cover of Green Healthcare Institutions
Green Healthcare Institutions: Health, Environment, and Economics: Workshop Summary.
Institute of Medicine (US) Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2007.
Copyright © 2007, National Academy of Sciences.

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