Building Design for Animals

A Look Back: 1st Pet Veterinary Centers

The flagship on a rebranding effort, this modern and progressive 24/7 facility won the 2016 Veterinary Economics Hospital of the Year Award.

Over the course of our work in veterinary hospital design BDA has learned to do more with less. Efficient design is one of our hallmarks and 1st Pet Veterinary Centers is a gleaming example of what can be done with efficient design. At 8,740 square feet, this hospital includes 12 exam rooms within a full-service general / emergency / 24/7 practice.

BDA didn’t do this by compromising quality, either. We had worked with the doctor on his three practices in the past and when the decision was made to take those three hospitals operating under different names and rebrand them under one banner, he gave us a clear directive to reach a new level with this facility. He requested a modern, innovative, client and pet friendly facility, with abundant glass in all public areas including exam rooms.

On the exterior we were directed to use exposed masonry with teal and orange panels in their new color brand. Natural light was brought into all interior spaces with a combination of perimeter windows, clerestory windows, and a large skylight over treatment. During daylight hours of operation minimal electric lighting is needed. On the west façade, angled wing walls bring in natural light from the north, shielding from the harsh western sun. These wing walls serve to make 5 of the exam rooms quite architecturally unique, providing a very spacious feel using floor to ceiling windows.

And regarding those exam rooms, the practice’s philosophy of progressive client care means that clients are taken into exam rooms as soon as they arrive. There had to be plenty of rooms and making them comfortable and interesting was a must. In this hospital, exam rooms became ‘Pet Care Suites’ and each of them is named for a scenic type: Canyon, Lagoon, Desert, etc. There are two feline-only exam rooms and all of the canine rooms have flexible Shoreline blue line lift tables. Each Suite also has a working counter with sink, and interesting architectural features such as aquariums, comfortable furniture and artwork consistent with the name and theme of each suite.

In the medical spaces the theme of efficiency and quality care continues. The treatment room focuses on efficient operations for working staff. Six of the exam rooms are two door style with doctor side doors directly into treatment, enhancing emergency operations. The treatment room has 4 tables, two fixed, one tub and one gurney docking station. There is a pharmacy and a lab with a Cubex inventory control machine located in each. Doctor and technician workstations are located on one side of treatment with computers, phones and records charts.

Perhaps the most remarkable feature is visual access to every medical patient from the central treatment room. Three glass runs are in treatment along the workstation wall, the feline ward is behind a sliding glass door across from the workstations and the glass enclosed adjacent ICU is, in essence, a glass box which acoustically encloses housed patients, but allows unfettered visual access. Finally, the entire isolation suite can be visualized by treatment room staff.

Adjacent to treatment are two separate suites of procedures rooms. On one end is the imaging/X-ray room and the surgical suite. The surgical suite has a prep/anesthesia room, scrub area, pack prep and 2 surgery rooms; there is also an adjacent recovery cage bank. On the other end of treatment are the dental, endoscopy/ultrasound/oncology suite, and the physical therapy room with hydrotherapy treadmill.

The final touches on this efficiently designed hospital are the administrative wing and support spaces. Accessible from reception, procedures hall, and staff entry, the L shaped administrative wing contains offices for the hospital doctors, hospital manager, technician manager and DVM partners. There are also open office areas for customer service managers and administrative assistants. In a large separate, adjacent room, a shared doctors’ office and staff lounge connects for use as a training room.

In addition to staff restrooms, IT closet and storage rooms, support spaces include several specific use closets and a laundry, equipment room and small K-9 ward for discharge and inpatient check-in. An attached, covered, enclosed, yard area provides outdoor space for a patient exercise and staff respite area.

1st Pet Veterinary Centers is a hallmark of quality care and efficient design. This hospital delivers on a Four Seasons-level customer service and state-of-the-art medical care. Nothing was sacrificed for an area of service to be delivered at its highest level – instead all areas complement each other for a truly complete trend-setting facility.

For more photos and highlights read the article: The 2016 Hospital of the Year: The doctor will see you now.