Image source: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-08-14/to-design-a-hurricane-proof-new-orleans-hospital-think-upside-down
If you need a hospital to survive the next Katrina, here is one possibility, as reported in Business Week. The new VA facility in New Orleans, designed by Doug Parris, features a boat dock at 20 feet off the ground, so patients and supplies can be brought into the hospital during a flood. The facility also features critical building systems on the 4th floor, since they are the first things to be taken out of commission in a flood from a hurricane. Each of the 200 private rooms has enough power outlets and medical supplies to take on additional patients in an emergency.
Why didn't someone think of this before? Despite the VA's recent problems with waiting lists, etc., they are on the vanguard when it comes to facility design and patient safety. Read the article here.
Engineering Management professor and researcher specializing in Empathic Design, workplace resilience, and the study of healthcare organizational cultures