An updated version of the Design Guide for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities, Edition 5.2, has just been released. The 90-page guide is a trusted resource for use by architects, designers, and mental health administrators; whether the building or unit is new construction or an existing facility.

Since its first publication in 2003, the Design Guide has been updated frequently to keep pace with new knowledge about patient safety and new products intended for use in behavioral health facilities. The authors, James M. Hunt, AIA, NCARB, and David M. Sine, ARM, CSP, SCHRM, bring more than 50 years combined experience to the subject of hospital safety and healthcare architecture. Citing personal experience and authoritative research, the guide focuses on key considerations regarding space planning, construction materials, furniture and fixtures, and the design of outdoor spaces.

Design Guide from NAPHS on Behavioral HealthThe Guide approaches patient safety in the built environment according to how the space is used by patients, and rates those spaces One through Five. Level One areas are those which patients cannot access and therefore pose the least concern. Level Five areas are those where patients and staff interact and where patient behavior is unpredictable, therefore posing the greatest concern. Hunt and Sine describe both the obvious and latent hazards in each of those areas, and offer insights as to how risks can be reduced with thoughtful design and appropriate furniture and fixtures.

Many healthcare design professionals and hospital administrators use the Guide as a FF&E (Furniture, Fixtures, & Equipment) catalog because it lists actual products available in the marketplace, and where to find them. Although the Guide does not endorse or guarantee any one product, it points to products which have design features appropriate to behavioral health settings. Edition 5.2 of the Guide lists 16 products by Norix for use in psychiatric treatment facilities, including:

Download a copy of the updated Design Guide for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities Edition 5.2.

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