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make it functional as a planning guideline. There are the following issues to be


considered in this phase:  The planning horizon – how long into the future should we plan for?  Single building v/s. healthcare campus – single buildings will result in floor plates with substantially larger areas. The healthcare campus allows for progressive development towards an ultimate solution  Provision of support services – on-site or off-site?  Service growth and change – placement of high growth services to allow for expansion  Building type – the location of space in specific building types may attract different design standards and unit costs  Vertical v/s. horizontal expansion – depends on a number of factors best addressed by the consultants.


a master plan is a living document and will require continual review and updating to make it functional as a planning guideline’


Flexibility in Functional programming A functional programme is a detailed document that describes the future functions and operations of a functional facility. At this stage of planning, the greatest flexibility needs to reside in the minds of the project planners to ensure that all relevant factors are considered. Flexibility-related issues in this phase include the following:  Operational trends – consultants can provide benchmarking, but the staff needs to be up-to-date in these matters  Equipment choices – the location and selection of equipment are to be considered  Service consolidation – operational efficiencies can be achieved by sharing support facilities  Utilisation patterns – spaces may be shared by accommodating different clinics on different days


 Changes in hours of operation – this is an excellent option to accommodate additional workload, but the operating costs must be weighed against the capital cost of more space  Data communication capabilities – it is vital that this factor is provided adequately  Internal and external adjacency requirements – identify which spaces are most likely to expand and design accordingly  Open concept planning – allowing multiple uses and standardised service grids should be considered  Standardisation of room sizes – facilitates change in use more easily than custom-fitted room sizes  Flexibility at the patient bedside – the universal room concept


Modular space planning – using uniform planning units.


conclusion In the ideal world, the perfect balance is found between functionality of space and the generic parameters that afford its flexibility. Staff and patients will enjoy a pleasant and effective work/care environment. Construction dollars can be optimised. In the real world, this point of balance may seem elusive, but teamwork, attention to detail, and open communication throughout the planning and design process help us close in on our target. Planning a new healthcare facility affords an opportunity to create a dynamic and long-term solution in a manner that will allow the hospital to explore innovative and exciting ways to deliver healthcare to its community. An opportunity is provided to create a facility which delivers an inventive and flexible environment that will accommodate both the predictable and the unknown changes in a sustainable manner serving the organisation, its patients and staff, their families, and the community, well into the future. HB


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