The Clinic/Health Unit space types are facilities where outpatient ambulatory health services are provided. Sub-space types, such as office spaces, private toilets, and filing and storage areas are included.
This space type does not include provisions for invasive surgery, in-patient services, medical diagnostic categories I, II, and III equipment (including exam lights and medical gas systems), radiological diagnostic services (including special structural elements and radiation shielding on ceiling and floor areas), darkroom revolving door systems, or medical laboratory spaces. Clinics where general anesthesia, invasive procedures, or overnight care are provided require Institutional Occupancy construction types and are not included.
The Clinic/Health Unit space type should provide a sanitary and therapeutic environment in which patients can be treated by medical practitioners quickly and effectively. Typical features of clinic/health unit space types include the list of applicable design objectives elements as outlined below. For a complete list and definitions of the design objectives within the context of whole building design, click on the titles below.
- All areas should comply with the minimum requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, if federally funded or owned, with the GSA's ABA Accessibility Standards. For more information, see WBDG Accessible Branch and Provide Accessibility for Historic Buildings (historic facilities).
- Occupancy: The occupancy classification for the Clinic/Health Unit space type is Business Occupancy B2, with sprinklered protected construction and GSA Acoustical Class C2.
- Acoustic and Visual Privacy: The new HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act) regulations address the security and privacy of "protected health information" (PHI). These regulations put new emphasis on acoustic and visual privacy, and may affect location and layout of workstations that handle medical records and other patient information-both paper and electronic-as well as patient accommodations. Flow diagrams created in the beginning of the design process should address controlled access areas.
- Emergency Backup Systems: Typically, this space type will require emergency battery backup for 25% of lighting. Refer to individual utility requirements for specific medical equipment.
The following building program is representative of Clinic/Health Unit spaces.
Tenant Occupiable Areas
|Qty.||SF Each||Space Req'd.||Sum Actual SF||Tenant Usable Factor||Tenant USF|
|General Patient Care||684|
|Nurse Work Area||1||40||40|
|Soiled Utility Room||1||60||60|
|Medical Records Files||1||60||60|
|Staff Support Spaces||216|
|Staff Toilet (Male)||1||60||60|
|Staff Toilet (Female)||1||60||60|
|Staff Break Room||1||60||60|
|Tenant Usable Areas||1,840|
The following diagram is representative of typical tenant plans.
Example Construction Criteria
Relevant Codes and Standards
The following agencies and organizations have developed codes and standards affecting the design of health facilities, including clinics. Note that the codes and standards are minimum requirements. Architects, engineers, and consultants should consider exceeding the applicable requirements whenever possible:
Systems & Specifications
Building Commissioning, Project Planning, Delivery and Controls
- AIA Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH)—Contains AAH newsletters, reports, and other documents related to health care design
- Architectural Graphic Standards, 12th Edition by American Institute of Architects, Dennis J. Hall. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2016.
- Building Type Basics for Healthcare Facilities, 2nd Edition ed. Stephen A. Kliment. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2008.
- Design That Cares: Planning Health Facilities for Patients and Visitors, 2nd Edition by Janet R. Carpman, Myron A. Grant and Deborah A. Simmons. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2001.
- Innovations in Healthcare Design: Selected Presentations from the First Five Symposia on Healthcare Design ed. Sara Marberry. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1995.