Salus journal

Healthy Planet. Healthy People.

Healthcare / Access to nature

European Healthcare Design 2017

Daylighting in practice – within surgical environments

By David Allison, Edzard Schultz and Eva Henrich 22 Jun 2017 0

Increasingly, research indicates that access to daylight and connections to the outside can improve health outcomes for patients and health status for healthcare staff. Conversely, the lack of access to adequate daylight has been demonstrated to have a negative impact in both populations.


After studies showed the positive effects of daylighting, designers began introducing large windows with views to the outdoors in patient rooms and waiting areas. As the practice grew, family respite areas and staff spaces eventually ‘saw the light’, too.

Today, staff-friendly work environments promoting wellbeing and satisfaction to improve performance and productivity are a
growing area of concern and facilities are taking the move further, incorporating daylighting into some non-traditional areas, such as the surgical environments. Studies suggest that having widespread access to daylighting at work increases satisfaction and may have positive impacts on lowering perceived stress levels among staff, increasing concentration. High stress levels, decreased concentration, fatigue, and low visual performance could result in lower performance and medical errors.

This poster demonstrates that modern layouts of surgical departments, enabling access to daylight and views to the outside,
can be functionally efficient, without compromising patient safety, internal flow or increased travel distances. In contrast, limitations of daylighting within surgical environments (some procedures require specific lighting), as well as strategies to control daylight to prevent glare and unwanted heat gain, will be discussed. From case studies of several German hospitals, best practices of surgical departments and operating rooms with connections to the outside will be presented.

Login to see whole article