User-centric work environments in modular healthcare facilities

Leena Aalto*, Pia Sirola, Tiina Kalliomäki-Levanto, Marjaana Lahtinen, Virpi Ruohomäki, Heidi Salonen, Kari Reijula

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
339 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: The challenges arising from the reform of the social and healthcare sector call for efficient, effective and novel processes in both public and private health and medical care. Facilities need to be designed to suit the new processes and to offer usable workspaces at different levels of healthcare services. Along with traditional construction, modular facility innovations could be one solution to these pressures. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach: This case study analyzed the different usability characteristics of the work environment in modular and non-modular healthcare facilities (HCFs). The qualitative research method was based on semi-structured interviews of employees and observations of the case buildings. Findings: According to the results, the usability characteristics were divided into four main categories: functionality, healthiness, safety/security and comfort. The main differences between the modular and non-modular facilities appeared to be room size, soundproofing, safety issues and the utilization of colors and artwork, which were all perceived as better realized in the non-modular facilities. The staff highlighted functionality as the most important characteristic in their work environment. They even considered functionality as a feature of a comfortable work environment. Originality/value: This paper presents new knowledge and a detailed description of the opinions and experiences of healthcare professionals concerning a user-centric, usable environment in the context of modular and non-modular HCFs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1047-1062
Number of pages16
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number6
Early online date1 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Architecture
  • Design
  • Design management


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