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Dental office build-outs pose specific challenges to the business owner, building owner, architect, and general contractor. These challenges pertain to building requirements, as well as, dental industry specific needs within the design. Identifying these early on in conversation and during programming helps the process run smoothly and provides the business owner with confidence that their dental practice will “work” within the confines of the space.
So what are these challenges?
- Plumbing necessary for each station
- Ample clearance between each station
- X-Ray machine considerations
- Mechanical & electrical for additional devices and lighting
- Specific dental facility requirements
- Business-owner specific needs
- General space design
Plumbing for Each Station
Dental office construction documents must account for all plumbing for each station. For our client, we were able to access the main water line from the basement and run plumbing to the six stations, as well as, additional sinks throughout the office. As the commercial architect, Jose coordinated with the manufacturer of a specific dental industry device, which is responsible for bringing water to each station, to ensure that it would fit within the dimensions and not interfere with the essential components of the station.
Ample Clearance Between & Within Each Station
Having the ability to move around within the station is critical for the dentist, as well as, the assistants and patients. What it comes down to is comfortability. Dentist offices are already perceived as unpleasant; however, you can enhance a patients’ experience through proper space design. So, for our client, JP Architects, Ltd. was able to design a space that incorporated six stations but still felt spacious and comfortable. Enough space to walk in between each station and work within each station. Privacy for patients, even though multiple could be cared for at one time.
X-Ray Machine Considerations
For our specific dental office build-out, x-ray machines were included in each station design. While this device doesn’t occupy a ton of space, placing the “control arm” properly within each station enhances patient experience and day-to-day operation. In addition to the machines at each station, there was a separate lab with the latest, cutting edge technology that required sufficient mechanical and electrical infrastructure to be in place, which bring us to our next design challenge.
Mechanical & Electrical Systems for Additional Devices & Lighting
For our dental office build-out, the suite was previously being utilized as office space. So while low voltage, power and mechanical systems were available throughout the space, it was in need of a full upgrade and re-design to address the needs and building requirements of a dental office. The design accounted for power and low voltage near each station to accommodate computers, dental technology, station components and lighting.
In addition to the electrical system upgrades throughout the facility, JP Architects, Ltd. designed a new mechanical system to meet the building requirement for dental offices.
Specific Dental Office Requirements
Under “Plumbing for Each Station,” we discussed a specific dental industry device that was responsible for bringing water to each station. Well, this same component is also how each station receives the ability to have the small “vacuum” device with suction capability at each station. This required a compressor be placed in the basement of the building and connected to the “box” in the floor of each station.
Business-Owner Specific Needs
Each dental office is different. For example, in our dental office build-out, the business-owner requested that design account for TV’s, technology and speakers throughout the facility. We included, within our electrical plans, the necessary conduits and power sources to make this vision a reality.
General Space Design
While the space is designed for the essential business function, there are a few other considerations to think about. Do you want private office space? How many stations would you like within the space? Break room? In this specific case, the business owner wanted to include two administrative spaces and a small break / kitchen area. The building requirements also stated that two exits were necessary for this dental office.
So while dental office build-outs do pose specific challenges, an experienced architect can design solutions and accomplish the business-owners vision.
If you’re in the dental industry, look no further for your architectural design partner. JP Architects, Ltd. has the experience, asks the right questions, listens to your your specific needs and produces accurate, permit-ready construction documents that account for industry-specific challenges and building requirements. Let’s keep Illinois’ teeth healthy & clean — 708.907.3651!
Until Next Time,
Jose R. Pareja, AIA
JP Architects, Ltd. was founded in 2015 by Jose R. Pareja, AIA. We specialize in and are passionate about residential design, commercial architecture and public sector planning / capital improvement projects. Located at 7250 College Dr., Palos Heights, IL 60463, we serve Chicagoland and North & Central Illinois. We complete hundreds of projects per year and bring sound principles of design, resourcefulness, reliability, unmatched quality and enthusiasm to each project. JP Architects, Ltd. realizes the possibilities, designs your reality and influences your life and community.