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How Should I Handle Pest Control in a New Clinic?

Posted on Fri, May 24, 2013 @ 02:33 PM

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Pest protection is both an exterior and interior concern. Termites can sabotage a clinic’s outside walls, and pets can bring fleas and ticks inside. Prevent all three from invading your clinic with these patient-safe strategies from James Marshall Jr., AIA, in Prairie Village, Kansas:



  • Treat the ground before building begins. Pesticides that are applied under the foundation are too deep to endanger animals.
  • If possible, keep all structural wood one foot above the soil.
  • Choose wood that has been pressure-treated with pesticides for structural beams and fence posts.
  • Install metal termite shields around in-ground wooden beams.
  • Avoid stucco siding that reaches the ground. The porous material creates termite entry points.



  • Extend floor tiles about five inches up the sides of the walls, using epoxy for the grouting. These materials can withstand frequent cleaning, but fleas and ticks can’t. Less expensive linoleum and sheet-vinyl floors are also an option, but they can crack within a few years of installation, so repair costs often offset the initial savings.
  • Seal case work and plumbing features with silicone. This coating denies fleas and ticks access to their favorite hiding places.


Tags: Animal Care, Facility Design, Hospital Design, Q&A, Industry Trends

Q&A: What are the best choices for countertops?

Posted on Tue, Mar 12, 2013 @ 03:54 PM

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“Durable, easy-to-clean materials are a must,” says Dan Chapel, president of Chapel Associates Architects in Little Rock, Ark. He recommends plastic laminate in all clinical areas. “You can scrub plastic laminate countertops and spray them with disinfectant,” Chapel says. “Plus, they’ll take a great deal of abuse from claws and feet.” Even better: It’s one of the least-expensive options.

Plastic laminate comes in hundreds of colors and patterns, such as wood grain or faux granite, so shop around to see which brand offers the look and features you want. Finally, choose a matte finish, says Chapel. High-gloss finishes are more slippery, and they’re difficult to clean because every drop of moisture leaves a spot.

Although plastic laminate countertops work well in high moisture areas, such as kennels and surgery rooms, some veterinarians prefer stainless steel. Stainless steel can be a smart choice, Chapel says, if you pressure wash the counters often.

Chapel recommends spending more for Corian or granite countertops in the reception area because that’s where clients’ first and last impressions form. If these high-dollar options don’t fit your budget, consider installing granite tiles, which are far less expensive. Keep in mind that granite tiles aren’t appropriate for other areas of the clinic because the difficult-to-clean grout seams collect dirt.

Finally, avoid using porous surfaces, such as stone, for countertops because they hold moisture and contaminates.

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Tags: Facility Design, Hospital Design, Q&A