October 26, 2021


Like many industries, healthcare facilities and hospital properties have seen vast changes in the needs and requirements to maintain a safe, healthy, and inclusive building. The immediate tendency is to think of indoor accommodations, but growing in importance is the need for inviting outdoor spaces for patients, employees, and visitors alike. Recent trends in landscape design and healthcare architecture highlight using site furnishings to create beautiful outdoor spaces to further promote health and wellness. In this blog post, Keystone Ridge Designs addresses the latest trends in site furniture types, materials, and installations for healthcare facilities.


The first considerations are what type of outdoor furnishings are needed for medical facilities and what overall purpose can they serve. The following site furnishings are finding increased applications at hospitals and medical offices to create engaging outdoor environments.

BENCHES - The outdoor seating that benches offer can create a place for a quick break, a breath of fresh air, or an outdoor waiting area. In spaces where walking is needed or encouraged, multiple benches installed at regular intervals allow for frequent periods of rest. Wide arms and center arms on benches are recommended to help assist with physical limitations of easily getting up and down.

TABLES - Outdoor tables provide welcoming courtyards to create alternative areas to have lunch, gather outside, take a call, or have a staff meeting. Tables with ADA accommodations are important to make the space accessible. Tables with fixed, bolted-down seating are ideal for safety and stability. If choosing tables with movable chairs, lightweight options help make it easier to lift and slide chairs into position.

LITTER RECEPTACLES - Having trash receptacles at entrances to buildings is common for guests to dispose of waste before entering a building or upon exit. A growing need at healthcare properties is to have additional trash receptacles throughout the parking area. This is largely because of the recent need to discard of disposable masks. You can decrease the amount of litter by always having receptacles nearby.

BOLLARDS - Access or restriction to areas for ambulances or other emergency situations require the right signage and perimeter security products. Bollards can be installed in permanent or removable applications to help protect buildings and control entry.

BIKE RACKS - For hospitals in urban or heavily populated residential areas, bike racks can encourage alternate transportation for employees and visitors. Learn the transportation habits of the area and provide enough bike parking capacity.


Once product types are selected, there are a few keys trends to point out when it comes to choosing what type of materials are best for healthcare furnishings.

POWDER COATED STEEL - fully-welded steel offers the weight, strength, safety, and durability necessary to face the challenges of a year-round outdoor space. With the addition of a powder coat finish on steel products, you achieve a smooth appearance that resists rust and fading but also can easily be wiped downed and cleaned without deterioration.

ANTI-MICROBIAL COATING - to further protect products and the environment they are in, powder coating can be equipped with an anti-microbial silver-ion additive that naturally inhibits the growth of pathogens including bacteria, mold, and fungus. This technology is commonly used for healthcare equipment and other surfaces but comes standard on certain powder coat colors from Keystone Ridge Designs; allowing the benches, table tops, and other site furnishings to help support healthy space initiatives.

WOOD GRAIN ALUMINUM - For the look of wood but the durability and easy-to-clean properties of metal, KeyshieldArtTM is a proprietary process from Keystone Ridge Designs that fuses imagery of wood grain patterns onto aluminum slats. Create a bench or table top that blends in with nature and wood accents but maintains the benefits of metal.


Need some inspiration on what types of locations or creative installations are possible when expanding into the outdoors? Here are just a few ideas happening at hospitals, medical offices and health and wellness facilities nationwide.

OUTDOOR WAITING AREAS - with remote check-in processes and text notifications, provide areas to wait for appointments outside the typical waiting room.
HEALING GARDENS - offer quiet places for prayer, reflection, and building inner strength.

WELLNESS PATHS - create landscaped spaces to foster movement and rehabilitation.
COURTYARDS - extend the cafeteria and break rooms to outdoor courtyards for employee breaks or visitor escapes.

CHILDREN'S SPACES - areas where kids can be kids and engage with the outdoors through play. Furnish these spaces with custom kid-sized amenities to make children feel at home.

ROOFTOP DECKS - make use of every inch of space by turning a rooftop into a green roof or outdoor patio opportunity.

When it comes to healthcare design, never underestimate the power of the outdoors to heal - to heal the weary worker, the worrying mind or the recuperating body. Provide the spaces to help encourage that therapeutic connection to the outdoors and include the furnishings that help make those spaces comfortable.