Incorporating infection control strategies into your practice’s design proves highly effective in mitigating risks and maintaining operational continuity during challenging times. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of infection control in safeguarding the safety of practitioners, staff, and patients within healthcare practice environments. Implementing some of the latest best practices in the physical healthcare environment can help to minimize their impact—and help to produce the best outcomes for patients, families and staff.

In 2011, in response to safety and cost concerns raised by governments, health care professionals, and the public, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) created the first edition Z8000 Canadian Health Care Facilities (HCFs) standard. The CSA Z8000 standard offers a comprehensive, Canada wide recognized baseline for the planning, design, and construction of hospitals and other healthcare facilities based on leading research linking better facility design to minimize the risk of infections.

Design & Construction Considerations That Reduce Disease Transmission

  1. Material Selection

Materials that have antimicrobial properties such as copper alloys used for high-touch surfaces (e.g., door handles and bed rails). Copper and its alloys, such as brass, bronze and copper-nickel, are inherently antimicrobial. When cleaned regularly, frequently touched surfaces manufactured from uncoated copper alloy materials will continuously kill bacteria that cause infections. Using copper alloys for high-touch surfaces such as door handles and bed rails can reduce infection transmission. Any material or finish used in a healthcare setting should be nonporous and nonreactive when exposed to common disinfectants such as bleach, alcohol, and ammonium compounds.

Minimizing direct contact with door handles, faucets, receptacles, sinks, and various equipment is another preventative measure for infection transmission. Use of no touch entryways and sinks with motion sensors can remove some common avenues of transmission.

  1. Traffic Flow

To manage patient flow while prioritizing infection control, strategies include restricting the number of entrances and ensuring sufficient social distancing space in waiting areas, corridors, hallways, and stairwells. Minimizing exposure to others at check-in desks, ER rooms, outpatient clinics, waiting areas, and other common points of contact helps everyone reduce their risks of infection.

Physical barriers such as single-patient rooms (and separate washrooms in the exceptional cases where a room is shared) as per CSA Z8000. Containing a patient within a private room minimizes opportunities for the spread of infection to the individual and other parts of the facility. 

Hand-hygiene infrastructure that promotes hand-hygiene compliance through clearly visible sinks and gels in convenient and standardized locations.

Research demonstrates that sunlight effectively eliminates certain types of microbes, especially bacteria. Additionally, access to natural light has the added benefit of uplifting the moods of both patients and staff.

  1. Ventilation

Ventilation in health care is the process of exchanging indoor air with outdoor air to improve the quality of indoor air. Ventilation also helps to regulate the humidity levels in indoor air, which can affect indoor air quality. High humidity levels can lead to the growth of mold, mildew, and other fungi, which can cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions. Effective ventilation not only eliminates odors but also sustains a refreshing indoor atmosphere.

  1. Adequate Hand Wash/Sanitizer Stations

Placing hand wash stations or hand sanitizer dispensers at doors and entrances as well as inside treatment rooms near beds can encourage staff to use them on a more frequent basis. Washing hands more often and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers can prevent the spread of respiratory and diarrheal infections. Report shows that compliance to Z8000 requirements related to hand hygiene sinks and alcohol-based hand rub stations increased dramatically after the change in hospital design. For intensive care units in those healthcare facilities, hand hygiene sink compliance rose from 31 per cent to 90 per cent, with alcohol-based hand rub station compliance increasing from 57 per cent to 85 per cent. For the medical/surgical units of those healthcare facilities, hand hygiene sink compliance increased from 40 per cent to 84 per cent, while alcohol-based hand rub station compliance increased from 66 per cent to 82 per cent.


As humans evolve, our healthcare facilities must evolve in tandem to meet our changing needs. These considerations are just a snapshot of how the design & construction of a healthcare facility can help minimize the spread of infections and disease. Of course, hiring a qualified builder that specialize in healthcare and particularly in CSA Z8000 compliance can ensure regulatory compliance and make sure healthcare workers are equipped with the tools and environment they need to maintain patient safety and their own.  

If you are searching for a dependable and experienced healthcare construction contractor in Greater Vancouver and nearby Vancouver Island area, look no further than Team Medico. We specialize in all aspects of healthcare construction services. If you have any further questions or want to book a consultation to see what we can offer for your healthcare industry construction project, contact us today!