CSR highlights healing power of architecture

CSR has developed a range of materials to help meet a growing body of research that emphasises the importance of good design in healthcare, the company says.

According to CSR, patient outcomes are significantly influenced by the physical setting and environmental quality of a healthcare facility. And healing architecture is a holistic approach that takes into consideration interior and building design when creating spaces for patients and residents for healing and recovery.

CSR Gyprock Category Manager Peter Tollens says every single element that goes into creating a building, from the raw materials to its structural design, has a sizeable impact on the health of its occupants and the surrounding environment.

Everyone involved in the design process must consider how the materials used within the building shape the patients’ and residents’ experience, says Tollens. Walls and ceilings are part of the design elements in a building that can contribute to a healing environment, and Tollens says CSR products  can help meet a variety of modern design solutions.

Indoor air quality

Maintaining adequate indoor air quality is essential to our health and wellbeing. Cigarette smoke, fungal spores, and chemicals used in certain paints, varnishes and cleaners can all lead to poor indoor air quality. Many building materials can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air and be inhaled by both patients and staff, which can affect the invariably weakened immune systems of patients, and cause healthcare professionals to experience headaches, fatigue, dryness, and eye and skin irritation.

To minimise such effects, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) Green Star Rating Tools encourage product suppliers, designers, and specifiers to use certified low VOC-emitting materials and finishes.

According to Tollens, CSR Gyprock’s EC08 plasterboard range is certified by Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) and has low VOC emissions, making it a great choice for applications where maintaining high levels of indoor air quality is important.

Fire safety, durability and acoustics

In buildings frequented by people with varying degrees of mobility, designing for fire safety is among the highest priorities. Durability is also a consideration, with any walls and ceilings damaged or cracked having the potential to harbour dirt and bacteria, which can spread disease and also increase maintenance and cleaning costs.

CSR Gyprock’s new EC08 Extreme is a premium, multi-functional plasterboard which has been engineered for extreme impact, and is highly suitable for a healthcare setting, says Tollens.

And with studies showing how patients are adversely affected by excess noise while they are hospitalised, the ECO8 Extreme [is also] “an excellent and versatile choice for a range of applications within a healthcare facility that positively affects acoustic resistance”.

Sustainability concerns

According to Tollens, CSR also considers the sustainability of its building products, including their lifespan, embodied emissions, lifecycle energy consumption, resource use and recycling potential.

A lightweight material that lowers transportation expenses and emissions, plasterboard is a highly sustainable product as the majority of it is recyclable after use, says CSR. The plasterboard industry also promotes greater recycling by supporting various recycling programs and focusing on resource efficiency in their manufacturing operations.

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