Can location-specific lighting programming help to calm behavioral health patients? Yes, by referencing regional and geographic context. Behavioral Healthcare Magazine’s feature on facility design cites our Swedish Ballard Behavioral Health Unit for its biophilic elements and circadian lighting, which aim to orient, soothe, and calm. As the article states, geography is often a key factor in shaping the design of a behavioral healthcare facility and can influence design choices such as color, materials, lighting or structural elements of a building. A behavioral healthcare facility in a rainy suburb of Seattle may look nothing like a facility in a hot desert like Arizona.
As Behavioral Healthcare‘s Jill Sederstrom writes, “At the Swedish Medical Center’s Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit near Seattle, ZGF Architects created a lighting solution in the common area and corridors of the facility designed to support a patient’s circadian rhythm—that is, the body’s natural sleep and wake response to night and daytime. The lighting quality changes throughout the day to mimic the color and intensity of the sun and can help combat the short days in the winter at the 22-bed facility.”