At designzone we have had the pleasure in doing the interior design for multiple veterinary clinics. We are all big animal lovers, so we have taken a lot of time and research to figure out what great design can do to make this space friendly and calming for our little furry pals, as well as creating a functional environment for the veterinary team. So if you are considering designing a veterinary clinic or planning to improve the practice’s current work-space then we have a few helpful interior design tips to help you create a state of the art veterinary surgery.
Think of the overall space in your veterinary practice and how each room connects to one another. This flow of spaces will define how your clinic works and comes together. No two practices work in the same way, so make a thorough plan. Below we outline to you our tips for designing and building a modern and pet friendly vet clinic
Talk to your team and get to know what works for them; what are their likes and dislikes about the existing practice? What would an improved layout look like to them? Everyone’s views will be different but these are the people who will have constructive feedback and will give you a great place to start when designing the clinic.
Look into your existing services and facilities, do these need upgrading to meet modern standards or equipment requirements? Do you require more client consultation rooms? Or perhaps a larger surgery?
This feedback/information is going to be extremely useful to the interior designers and will help mould the design brief. Don’t forget to include colours or themes you like.
Your interior design team will provide you with multiple layout plans to best suit your requirements set out from your design brief, as well as a selection of finishes - including paint colour, flooring, materials etc. The interior design team may also design custom furniture and signage if required.
Some main considerations when decided on a design concept are:
Space - Is each area big enough for it’s required purpose; is there enough space to be able to separate the veterinary clinic into rooms each with its own function? and to allow for cats and dogs to be housed separately? Is there enough space for storage of supplies and equipment?
Environmental conditions - Any clinical space such as the animal wards and surgery rooms should be kept at a higher temperature for animals undergoing surgery or recovering from GA and for sick patients on treatment. There should be sufficient and appropriate ventilation, open windows and doors do not help to maintain any warmth and could perhaps be an easy escape route for your patients.
Functionality - Each area should be adequate for its function, they should be big enough for the purpose and have sufficient lighting, electrical sockets and be in a good location.In an ideal layout, surgery rooms on higher floors should be avoided if kennel or holding areas are located downstairs. Animals should not be walking stairs prior to or after surgery.
Layout - The floor plan of the vet clinic should be considered so that there is a flow-through of traffic such as from the consulting room out to treatment areas and kennels and from prep room to surgery. Having to walk through several rooms or even go outdoors to get from one area to another is by no means ideal. Where possible the front of the hospital should be for client areas such as reception and consulting rooms, and the rear be treatment areas that are more private and secure.
Safety and security are also a key consideration, safety factors include having enough room to move around without banging into things, also lead lines room for radiography and security of the premises for the drugs and equipment but also to prevent animals from escaping.
Once an initial interior design concept has been developed and you are ready to proceed with the design, a plan can then be created. Things to consider are:
If the project involves alterations and extensions to the existing building, council consent may be required - the interior design team will be able to assist you with this process. All building projects require building controls.This should be considered carefully when the works involve structural amendments, fire escapes, updating electrics or any other upgrade to the fabric of the building.
Technical aspects - It is during this stage that we get down to the details. For example:
Details of equipment including power, ventilation and safety of X-rays.
Mechanical and electrical systems – LED lights use a fraction of the power of old lights, so the time has most likely come for an update.
Heating/cooling systems – do you have an up to date air conditioning system? Is there enough ventilation?
Finishes - the choice of paint, anti-slip floors and counter-tops all need to be considered at this stage. What standard of medical grade materials are required in the surgery etc.
Without doubt, it’s daunting to open your own practice or even renovating your existing space. You may not have all the answers, but with a great interior design team behind you, this is the first step on your way to achieving a modern and pet friendly Vet clinic.