A Research-Based Environment: A NICU That Feels Like Home

Oct 01, 1998

The NICU at the Children’s Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio is a level III, 31 bed regional referral center for a 20 county service area. The unit was renovated using research and data concerning the effect of the environment on neonatal development. This knowledge base was used to guide the vision, justify the expense, and serve as a basis for decision making throughout the project. Creating an environmentally sensitive unit encompassed every design aspect from overall space planning to locating outlets. The well designed space plan enhances efficiency for staff and provides privacy for infants and families. Using indirect light and individually controlled bedside lighting lowered overall light levels. Including exterior windows provided for the diurnal cycling of light. Using sound absorbing materials aided in bringing down decibel levels. Technically advanced carpets and fabrics were used in areas.

Susan T. Williams, AIA (E. Lynn App Architects, Inc.)
Cynthia A. Burger, RN, BSN (The Children's Medical Center, Dayton, OH)
The Academy Journal of the Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
The American Institute of Architects

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