Care facility design strategies to cope with future pandemics
The aim of this research is to identify good design principles in care homes, in the context of protecting patients and staff during pandemics. Such principles can future-proof care facilities against future pandemics and be implemented in building design of care facilities, exploring the ‘cluster’ concept. I have chosen to focus specifically in Extra Care Housing. This type of care facility is in short supply in the UK, and more of these schemes need to be designed. There is scope to redesign internal spaces of care facilities, to allow for a significant amount of additional separation between operational activities, staff space and resident accommodation. However, care facilities, particularly Extra Care Housing, requires a lot of social interaction space to prevent residents from feeling isolated and to promote a feeling of community between everyone. ‘Cluster’ design involves separating the building into individual areas/wings. Under normal circumstances the building can still operate as it usually would, but in a pandemic situation, the building can be locked down into these clusters, allowing clear separation to improve infection control, whilst still functioning and operating at 100% without impacting the well-being to residents and staff.