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Functional Landscapes for Healthcare Environments

McCaren Designs, Inc. ¦ Creating Memorable Places and Unique Experiences

mccaren designs, inc.

760 vandalia street ¦ st. paul, minnesota 55114 ¦ 651.646.4764

vision ̶ capable of any project, focused on every essential detail

interiorscaping̶ landscaping ̶ holiday decor design̶ installation̶ maintenance

Serenity Garden̶Hazelden Admitting Center

Center City, Minnesota

FUNCTIONAL LANDSCAPES FOR HEALTHCARE ENVIRONMENTS It’s an interesting time for designers and managers of healthcare facilities.


designers are deeply focused on sustainable design with new rating systems on the horizon seemingly every year. Still others are focused on evidence-based design and its impact on healthcare outcomes. Currently, the most modern healthcare theories are evolving in response to a human need to connect to the natural world, and to celebrate natural approaches and authentic experiences. Data suggests professionals who understand the introduction of nature into the healthcare environments can make an impact on healing. Engaging all five senses into design can enhance the healing process. The case for green design is no longer about just energy savings. For a facility to be green today, it takes into account financial gains, enhanced patient outcomes, improved staff health and reduced employee turnover. The most cited and influential healthcare design researcher is Roger S. Ulrich. His 1984 study and paper titled “View Through a Window May Influence Recovery from Surgery” discusses the emotional needs of patients and the influence of natural design on patient health and safety. His studies continue to influence our learning that designing within the principals of nature can lead to improved outcomes for patients, their families and the staff of healthcare facilities. While many designers are just finding their way into this natural world and a quest for authentic experiences, McCaren Designs has been here all along. We are, after all, what we repeatedly do.


Healing and healthcare extends beyond the walls of the guest’s room.


percent of all individuals who are asked how to alleviate stress respond they are most comforted and soothed being surrounded by nature. When you put yourself in the shoes of someone visiting a family member at the hospital or waiting for test results, and of course those actually staying at the facility, there are many reasons someone might need the respite found in a natural setting. Having a natural place as part of the facility’s design, where patients and visitors can enjoy plant life and perhaps some sun, would be of great value. Research supports the positive effects of nature on people who have physical ailments, depression or other conditions. This access to nature can take many forms. Just having well landscaped grounds featuring wheelchair accessible pathways and walks is one of the most basic forms. Roof gardens provide additional ways to access nature as well as improving the views from many patient rooms. Interior gardens offer benefits to those who are too sick or who lack the mobility to get to an outside landscape. Therapeutic or Healing gardens are designed specifically for people with physical or mental disabilities to benefit from the gardening experience as part of a horticultural therapy program.


wandering gardens are designed to accommodate the special needs of patients with Alzheimer's and dementia.


There are three principal goals to every healing environment.

Healthcare designers

strive to heal the patient, support the staff and engage the family. Like most landscapes, the healthcare landscape works best when a well-thought-out design brings together both hardscape and softscape elements. They also require special focus on certain considerations that might not be







situations. Accessibility and comfort for people to be able to move around in a wheelchair or on their own or with assistance or pulling an IV pole is important. People should feel safe and welcome. McCaren Designs would be delighted to meet and suggest natural elements that could be integrated into your new or existing healthcare facility.

What Others Say PROFESSIONAL SERVICE: Hines greatly values its relationship with McCaren Designs that has developed over the years. Your contributions and commitment to helping us distinguish our buildings in the marketplace is always appreciated. ̶ Todd Adams Senior Property Manager, Hines CONSISTENCY : I just want to let you know that our fall flowers look great! With every installation, we always receive raving compliments from our tenants and other Ryan property managers. Thanks to you and your staff for the great work. ̶ Jenny Rich, Property Manager, Ryan Companies, Inc. FAST RESPONSE: We had been holding off doing a needed improvement, but when a VIP called to say they were visiting our property, McCaren Designs responded within the day to perform work, they re just great! ̶Robert E. Traeger, General Manager, CB Richard Ellis UNDERSTANDING YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS: We have the best vendors, at a critical time we didn t even need to call. McCaren Designs was here asking what they could do to help ̶ Deb Kolar, Senior Property Manager, IDS Center. LOW ADMINISTRATIVE COST: McCaren Designs provides us with consistent performance. We ve tried lower cost providers who promised to meet our needs, but they were just not there when we needed them. I had to call them weekly to get the job done. They were understaffed and didn t have the manpower to get the work done on time. ̶ Bonnie Good, Purchasing Manager, CSM Lodging DESIGN CREATIVITY: Well there certainly doesn t appear to be any secret about the identity of the industry s most talented designer. McRae Anderson, President of McCaren Designs, has established a powerful reputation for himself not only as an innovative designer with fresh ideas but also someone capable of tackling the most challenging and unique projects ̶ Bob West, Former Editor, Interior Landscape Business Magazine 100% GUARANTEED AT SENSIBLE RATES: We re neither so high you can t afford us, nor so low we can t perform for you. We know you are genuinely concerned with costs, however, we feel our prices are realistic and allow us to give you the services you need and deserve without cutting corners. ̶ McRae Anderson, ASLA, CLP, Founder/President, McCaren Designs, Inc.

Functional Landscapes for Healthcare Environments  

An overview of the opportunities for integrating landscaping into healthcare facilities