Building the ideal veterinary clinic involves careful planning, attention to detail, and consideration of the needs of both the owners and their animals. You’ll want to partner with a veterinary architecture company that not only sees your vision and can help you bring your vision to reality but understand the intricacies and nuance of animal care. Animal hospitals are very complex projects with many competing interests. Keep reading for HDA Architects’ best veterinary hospital design ideas if you’re looking to build or redesign your veterinary clinic and don’t know where to start.
Define Your Veterinary Hospital Design Ideas
Start by defining the vision and mission of your veterinary clinic and what sets your clinic apart from others. Family practice hospitals are quite different from emergency/referral centers that operate 24 hours, 7 days a week. What ancillary services will you provide, such as grooming, boarding, physical therapy, and aroma therapy? Furthermore, you need to define the culture of your practice and the client base you will be serving. Are you in an urban environment or more rural? Do you handle feed stock and other large animal clients? Do you see exotic animals, or practice holistic medicine or offer surgical specialties? How much retail do you plan to offer? These questions should be answered before construction begins on your new office, as the clinic requires space for products and room for animals when they’re receiving medical or boarding services.
Choose a Suitable Location
Where you build your veterinary clinic is just as important as solidifying your veterinary hospital design ideas. You’ll want to select a site that is easily accessible to clients, has ample space for parking and walking yards, and has great visibility. Veterinarians carry a particularly heavy burden in the regulatory arena. Planning and & Zoning requirements must be confirmed when building a new structure or building on a green field site. Your veterinary architecture company can help you by working with your local zoning and planning board to answer any questions about your location to make the entire process go smoothly. In some cases, we will need to complete a planning action like a Re-Zoning, Variance request, or a Special Use permit. These are not uncommon and take 2 to 3 months to complete.
Design a Functional Layout
Veterinary architecture is a complex process, so you’ll want to work with an architect specializing in such projects to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing layout. You’ll want to ensure that the clinic includes the appropriate type, amount, and size of exam rooms. The treatment areas are designed and arranged specifically for your individual practice based on services, equipment, and clientele. The same goes for the number and type of surgical suites and diagnostic modalities you require. Fear Free design is a long overdue initiative in animal health, and we incorporate these elements in all of our hospitals.
A functional layout incorporates excellent traffic flow as well as built-in controls for cross-contamination, sound control, odor control, and line of sight. The reception area and waiting are designed for comfort but also allow clients to self-segregate when needed. In the South Atlantic region, we incorporate outside waiting and even outside exam space when needed. All areas of the hospital are designed to minimize stress for the animals. This includes tactile surfaces, sight control, and sound control. The animals’ senses are far more acute than humans’. Finally, you want to design your layout for a planned and easy expansion when the time comes. The natural growth and progression of the hospital should be planned and designed from the very beginning. You’ll want to include space for any extra services you may be offering like grooming and the boarding of animals.
Invest in Quality Equipment
When building a new veterinary clinic from the ground up, you’ll want to invest in quality equipment to save time and money. Technology is constantly changing, so having the right equipment means you can provide accurate diagnoses and the best treatment solutions as quickly as possible. This includes X-ray machines, ultrasound, anesthesia machines, dental equipment, and other equipment like hoists and exam tables for lifting large-breed animals when required. When designing your clinic, you’ll want to ensure that you have the proper space needed for these big pieces of equipment.
Focus on Safety and Hygiene
A veterinary office should be a safe space for those who enter, so focusing on safety protocols and maintaining proper hygiene and cleaning methods will ensure patients can receive treatment without the risk of infection in most circumstances. Your vet clinic should have designs that work to ensure proper waste disposal and a separate containment area for those animals being treated for contagious conditions like parvo to prevent the spread of infection.
Create a Welcoming Atmosphere
The lobby inside your veterinary hospital should be a warm and welcoming environment that puts both pets and owners at ease. One of the best veterinary hospital design ideas we have for your lobby is to use calming colors, provide comfortable seating, and have pet-friendly amenities. The design you create, the colors you choose, and the layout you have all contribute to the overall atmosphere and experience of your veterinary clinic, so think carefully about ways in which you can keep both pets and their parents calm throughout your clinic.
Make sure this calming design extends beyond your lobby and is included in the exam rooms as well. After all, pets pick up on their owner’s feelings, so the more nervous an owner is, the more nervous their pet is. That’s why it’s crucial to utilize your design to keep everyone as relaxed as possible while still being functional for your vets and staff.
Remember that building the ideal veterinary clinic is an ongoing process, and staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in veterinary medicine and client care is essential. By creating a caring and professional environment with the help of an architecture firm’s veterinary hospital design ideas, you can establish a thriving clinic that attracts loyal clients and promotes the health and well-being of their pets. Contact the professional architects at HDA Architects to get started planning your new veterinary office today.