Parkland Memorial Hospital has a tremendous impact on the surrounding community of Dallas County, TX. On any given day, the hospital completes nearly 1,000 radiology exams, performs more than 40 surgeries and delivers approximately 45 babies. Regularly providing this volume of patient services established a need for additional space that the 60-year-old hospital could not provide. As a result, a new $1.3 billion facility will soon open across the street, welcoming patients and staff with an abundance of space in a building that is defining the future of healthcare environments.
“The hospital asked us to create a modern icon for Dallas,” says Robyn Roleofs, senior interior designer, HDR + Corgan. “They wanted something that was a hospital of choice, not a hospital of necessity.”
“When we looked at the hospital design overall, we wanted to make sure we were creating the best center for healing,” says Gena English, senior program manager for New Parkland Hospital. “As we considered flooring options, we knew we needed something that was going to last—something that was extremely durable, even in a busy healthcare environment. We tested that a lot in mock-up rooms.”
The hospital conducted its own tests on the flooring, measuring its resistance to common chemicals, such as methylene blue, iodine and betadine, and bringing heavy foot traffic through the mock-up spaces. The results pointed to one clear winner. “It was really interesting to see how much better nora® performed over some of the other floors,” says Roleofs. “Even looking at it with scrutiny, we couldn’t find fault with the way it was maintained and the way it looked over time.”
Ergonomics also contributed to Parkland’s decision to use nora. “From a nursing perspective, flooring is important, because our nurses work 12-hour shifts,” says Gay Chabot, program director, New Parkland Hospital. “Nurses are almost always walking. While you can have orthotics and real fancy expensive shoes, the softness of the actual floor plays a large part. nora is a huge difference from what they’re used to walking on in the old facility.”
Additionally, the acoustic dampening of rubber flooring will enhance patient healing. “Patients may not realize the materials that are around them, but they experience the space as a whole,” says Roleofs. “They may not understand that you don’t hear people walking or rolling a bed down the corridor. They may not realize that a space is more beautiful because you don’t have the dirt or traffic that you might see on another floor. But if a floor looks good and it performs well for them, they understand that the space is just naturally more beautiful.”