Functional efficiency and economy depend also on the compactness of the hospital. Horizontal development demands more land involving extra costs in development and installation of services, roads, water supply, sewage, electric lines and so on.
From this angle, multistoreyed construction has the advantage of being convenient because of compactness.
For each inpatient bed there is likely to be at least one visitor a day. For each inpatient bed, there will be about 3 outpatients, many of them coming in cars, taxis, three- wheelers and two-wheelers.
One car parking space per two beds is desirable in metropolitan towns, lesser in smaller urban areas whileas much less in semiurban and rural areas.
Additional parking for three-wheelers, scooters and motor cycles and separate parking for bicycles and rickshaws should be considered.
Employees and staff parking areas are preferably separated from public parking.
The psychological effect of the visual impact of attractive grounds, buildings and surroundings on patients, visitors and staff cannot be underestimated. If possible the building is best located on a relatively high ground, the elevation being not so great to be a handicap for those approaching on foot.
The site should permit orientation of the structure in such a way that most of patients’ rooms will derive maximum benefit from natural light, and maximum advantage should be taken of the prevailing wind for natural ventilation.
In the tropics, the long sides of buildings occupied by patients should face north and south as much as possible.
Deft use of sloping sites can be made by the architect for car parking, temporary refuse storage, and recreational activities.
(v) Visual Impact:
Architectural handling of the design determines the visual impact of the hospital. The architect has the opportunity to give visual expression to the human units of which the hospital is composed, or suppress these divisions in the interests of uniformity.
For instance, in designing a ward building, he could allow each nursing unit individual expression on the facade of the building, or by giving each unit an identical series of windows, he could carry uniform architectural treatment over the whole.
Linearity exhibits a high degree of stability with reasonable adaptability. The image of a hospital designed linearly will be low, and not monumental.
The problem of giving form to a hospital offers an opportunity to the architect to create a unique institution.
The central problem for the architect understands the relationship between the hospital and its environment, and how to mould this into correct form.