Revolutionary Concept

In the ever changing climate of Healthcare design and development, one aspect stands out as a true challenge to any owner. How do you meet your census needs with ever increasing room size requirements and only a limited amount of space to expand?

JMD was recently tasked with the challenge of designing a new 60-bed ICU in an existing space that conventionally could only support 40 beds. JMD’s design team culled from its vast database of research and evidence based design calculations and came to one conclusion. It was possible.

The design was coined the HYPERPOD®.

This design effectively reduced the linear footage requirements along an outside wall by up to 35%, while still meeting the code driven natural light requirements to patients. By using internal “lightscapes”, a small room designed to pass light to another room, JMD was able to fit eight rooms in the space that could originally only support five.

Each HYPERPOD consists of four rooms served by a single access hallway or portal. Patients may be observed either from this portal from nurse landing stations along the main corridor.


  • Question: In designing the HYPERPOD, what specific obstacles pushed you to think “outside the box?”
    – A need to bring in natural light to patient rooms;
    – a need to increase visibility to and from patient rooms;
    – and a need to improve space for staff interaction.
  • Question: How did you overcome those challenges?
    – Maximized exterior surfaces to bring in natural light to patient rooms;
    – maximized visibility to and from patient rooms by bringing nurse stations closer to each patient room;
    – and, maximized space for staff interaction by adding common work areas for every four beds.
  • Question: What specific skills and experience did your firm need to draw from in order to make the HYPERPOD come to fruition?
    Answer: In addition to having an extensive practice experience in healthcare design, we worked closely with hospital staff and brought in experts with experience in intensive care unit design research to help us develop the concept.
  • Question: How does the HYPERPOD improve patient care?
    Answer: According to patient care research literature:
    – natural light helps improve patient experience and reduce the length of stay;
    – improved visibility to and from patient rooms helps improve patient care and safety;
    – and increased interaction among staff not only improves patient care and safety, but also improves social climate in the unit.
  • Question: How does the HYPERPOD improve staff morale and care for their patients?
    Answer: It is hoped that the HYPERPOD would increase visibility and interaction among staff. As a result, collaboration and social climate in the unit should also improve.
  • Question: Does the HYPERPOD help families of patients and if so, in what ways?
    Answer: It is hoped that the HYPERPOD would increase natural light in patient rooms, and would improve visibility and interaction among patient and staff. As a result, patient care as well patient satisfaction in the unit should also increase.
  • Question: How can your design be adapted to other healthcare facilities?
    Answer: The concept can be used to breakdown larger units into smaller pods in other healthcare facilities that have a great need for natural light in patient rooms and other spaces, but that have limited exterior surfaces.
  • Question: What other uses can you envision for the HYPERPOD?
    Answer: The concept can be considered for any facility with limited exterior surfaces, but where a large number of individual private spaces must have natural light.
  • Question: What is the best type of client for the HYPERPOD?
    – Hospitals
    – Office buildings
    – Apartments
    – Schools