Today's Veterinary Business

OCT 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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26 Today's Veterinary Business Business and we see that client comfort greatly affects patient comfort. Make your clients happy and their pets likely will be happy, too. Capture Natural Light In general, we want to see sunlight but not be directly exposed to it. Light from the south and west can be harsh and make us uncomfort- ably hot, even with the A/C blast- ing. Instead, we want northern and cool morning eastern light. Southern light can be easily controlled using exterior over- hangs. With western light, ag- gressive and costly architectural approaches are necessary, so we tend to limit the glass on that side of a hospital. Skylights and light tubes are great for illuminating interior spaces. Light tubes are simi- lar to skylights in that they are roof-mounted, but they are less expensive, easier to waterproof and do better at distributing light across a wide area. The light is reflected rather than direct, so the interior stays cooler. Borrowed light, on the other hand, is the use of interior windows to carry light into interior rooms. We all know how exam rooms can feel small and tight, but improve- ments such as transoms over doors, high and wide clerestory windows, and full-height frosted glass will transform a claustrophobic room into a welcoming space. Depending on a building's shape, a clerestory window can be introduced to an interior room by raising the ceiling and roof. This approach works best in larger spaces like treatment rooms. Since most clinical spaces surround the treatment area, they can all benefit from borrowed light. When to Use Artificial Light The sun doesn't always shine, of course, so light fixtures are necessary. Even here, much can be done to maintain a healthful environment. The first step is to select the right light source. These days, there is little reason to use anything other than LEDs. They are energy efficient at about 100 lumens per watt, they are easily and cheaply dimmable, and they do not contain toxic mercury like fluorescent lamps do. Another advantage of LEDs is the wide range of color temperatures. The color a light renders is expressed in degrees Kelvin. Lower numbers are more warm and higher numbers are cool. A 2500K lamp is considered warm white, 3500K is cool white and 4500K is close to daylight. Anything above that will look unnaturally blue. The standard choice in my firm is 4000K lamps. That way the light- tube diffusers and LED fixtures ap- pear to have the same color. 4000K also gives a good color rendition index (CRI). Full daylight has a CRI of 100. A lamp with CRI 85 or above is very good and is important in clinical spaces to support accurate visualization and diagnosis. An added benefit of high CRI light sources is that your interior de- sign colors will render correctly, which leads us to light's architectural uses. Count the Advantages Here are a few key things to realize: • Higher light levels will make a room appear bigger. • A low ceiling can be visually overcome by washing the surface with uplight, mean- ing a light source set in an upward direction. • Tall spaces will retain their im- pact at night when brightly illuminated. If the ceiling has a high reflectance, the entire space enjoys ambient light. • Conversely, if you wish to draw attention away from the ceiling, downlights will accent lower spaces and features. • Washing a wall with light from purpose-made fixtures will highlight logo walls and can add visual interest to oth- erwise unremarkable spaces. • Long hallways can appear less so by illuminating a side wall. A shadowed, or less bright, end wall will appear to advance. Business CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM Do you have any questions for Paul Gladysz about designing or building a veterinary hospital? What other topics would you like covered in Constructive Criticism? Email your ideas to kniedziela@navc.com. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO KNOW? Frequency-tuned LED fixtures mimic daylight in interior spaces. North-facing windows provide ample diffuse ambient light and minimal heat gain at a Phoenix veterinary practice.

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