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Sustainable Planning for Hospitals. An analysis of the general layout conditions and area efficiency characteristics of hospitals in Germany


  • Hannah-Kathrin Viergutz


Starting point: Hospitals are an essential element of every health care system and have priority in the healthcare industry. Healthcare buildings are highly complex infrastructural buildings and their future-oriented planning and long-term economy is extremely relevant for the sustainability of a hospital. These facilities are open 24/7, 365 days a year and used by numerous of patients, employees, visitors and suppliers. More than 1,1 million employees work in over 1.900 hospitals in order to guarantee high quality medical care all over Germany (cf. Statistisches Bundesamt, 2015).All hospitals have to deal with individual challenges regarding the building plot, structure of hospital buildings (comb structure, linear structure), the progression of medical technologies and patient wishes (cf. McKee, M. and Healy, J., 2002, p.45).Problem definition: The big challenges for hospitals in Germany are currently the demographic development of the population, the rural exodus and the progression of the medical technologies (cf. Klauber, 2015, p.2). This paper will explore the effects of varying changes in health care developments on the flexibility of hospital design and how much the future viability and existence of an hospital depends on its location and the inherent hospital functions as well as realised planning decisions in the past and its future perspective.State of research: The regional planning of healthcare buildings is of high interest for politics, people and the economy. According to my research, there are various scientific publications which deal with this topic in Germany as well as on an international level (e.g. McKee, M. and Healy, J. (2002): Hospitals in a changing Europe).Objective: Based on an analysis of different locations and building types of hospitals as well as their underlying basic conditions in Germany, the overall objective of this research is to evaluate the future potential and risk level for hospitals.What are the primary future challenges for hospital buildings? And in which way does hospital planning react those challenges?Methodology: Literature study, structural surveys of hospitals in Germany and interviews with the CEOs, project leaders and employees, architects and the local administrative unit are conducted in order to focus on weaknesses in hospital planning in the past to avoid in future-oriented planning.

Suggested Citation

  • Hannah-Kathrin Viergutz, 2017. "Sustainable Planning for Hospitals. An analysis of the general layout conditions and area efficiency characteristics of hospitals in Germany," ERES eres2017_155, European Real Estate Society (ERES).
  • Handle: RePEc:arz:wpaper:eres2017_155

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    Germany; Health Care; hospital buildings; sustainable planning;

    JEL classification:

    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location

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