Expansion is expensive. There is really no way around the costs associated with building a larger and improved healthcare facility. It often comes down to the following choices: build up, build out, or move. Healthcare facilities in high-density metropolitan areas rarely have the luxury of building out, so they most often choose to build up (if air rights allow for it)—a seemingly smart real estate venture.

However, when it comes to patient well-being, is a build-up really the way to go?

Research on low- versus high-rise housing suggests that a dweller’s well-being can be influenced by the number of floors in a housing unit; with an increase in floor number causing a decrease in perceived well-being. Furthermore, research also suggests that dwellers living on higher floors, versus those living on lower floors, are impacted even more by their high-rise environment.

Although there are numerous confounding variables that influence these findings, such as overall crowding and length of stay, it still poses a great concern for designers and architects who ultimately want to create a healing space