Role of Natural Elements in Provision of Healing Environment: Sustainable Healthcare Building
In order to improve the functional layout of hospital environment and to cope with modern changes, this paper aimed at examining the current architectural conditions in a public hospitals, and clarifying the requirements of spatial planning from the architectural standpoint. Recently, the initiative by the Iranian government to reduce the energy consumption in public buildings including hospitals is seen as the notion for sustainability in the built environment. On the other hand, designing a hospital building is architecturally accepted as a complex task both functionally and psychologically. Therefore, creating a healing environment with functional physical spaces (for example daylight utilization) to achieve sustainable hospital seems relevant and in tandem with sustainability. Many previous studies suggest that adequate and appropriate exposure to natural elements and daylight can provide a positive impact on human health and well-being of patients and medical staff in a hospital environment. This paper reviewed the role of natural elements focusing on daylight utilization as one of the physical aspects in hospital design to create a healing environment, and the effects of physical aspects on patients’ outcomes were investigated. Pilot studies on several public hospitals in different cities of Iran, was carried out to investigate the design and utilization of lighting (i.e. artificial and natural light) and its relationship to other environmental factors.
Keywords: architecture, environment, hospital, sustainability.