Watts teamed with an interior design firm and medical planner to design and document the complete gut-rehabilitation of Ward 9D located in the Veteran's Administration Medical Center in Buffalo, NY. This estimated $3,850,000 renovation required a complete overhaul of all building system infrastructure that support the existing ward. Services provided by Watts include architecture, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and structural engineering, asbestos/lead testing and abatement design.
Upon completion of the renovation, the ward will continue to function as an acute medical ward but will also house several long-term care and dementia patients. With patient stays of approximately three to four days in the acute medical unit, and longer occupancies for dementia patients, the facility is considered a General Medical Ward.
With a limited floor area of 9,000 square feet, an unusual structural column grid placement, and exterior openings to maintain, the renovated unit accommodates 20 patients. A centrally located lounge with a small nourishment area and larger patient rooms to hold sleeper chairs were necessary to support strong family involvement. The lounge located near the nurses' station doubles as a dayroom for supervision of patient activities.
The design of Ward 9D supports centralized and decentralized nursing. The central nurses' station is supplemented by satellite charting areas on each of the three wings. Staff rooms include a work room with a kitchenette, a physicians' work room for confidential medical discussions between medical staff and an office for the head nurse. Support rooms such as a medication room, soiled and clean utility, clean linen and equipment rooms are also included in this ward renovation.
Overall, Ward 9D is designed to promote staff efficiency by minimizing distance of necessary travel between frequently used spaces and by providing easy visual supervision of patients while offering a therapeutic environment for patient recovery.