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Hospital Canopy Guide

From an architectural standpoint, hospitals are a special breed. They need to be designed in a way that can accommodate patients safely, while also allowing emergency and medical professionals to enter and exit with ease. This is why a lot of thought goes into the external design of hospital entrances. It’s also why a hospital canopy can be a great addition to the main entrance of clinics and hospitals of all shapes and sizes.

But if you’re unfamiliar with the term “hospital canopy” or you aren’t sure if your hospital even needs a canopy, you probably have some questions. First of all, what is a hospital canopy? What are the benefits of designing and installing one? What are some popular hospital canopy designs? Finally, where can you find high-quality, custom canopies and awnings for hospitals?

In today’s guide, we will answer all of these questions and more, so let’s get started!

What Is a Hospital Canopy?

An architectural canopy is a hard surface, overhead covering. When used for a hospital, a canopy is usually located at a main entrance or exit to provide shelter and protection from the elements for patients, medical personnel, visitors, and others entering or leaving the building. The term canopy is sometimes used interchangeably with “awning,” but whether you’re looking for a hospital awning or a hospital canopy, they will both serve the same essential purpose. In the next section, we’ll take a look at why so many hospitals utilize canopies and what they get from them.

Benefits of Canopies & Awnings For Hospitals

The main purpose of a hospital canopy or awning is typically protection from the elements. However, this is certainly not the only reason to consider designing a hospital with a canopy at the main entrance, or even smaller canopies and awnings at other entrances or exits. Here are some of the most important benefits of hospital canopies to consider:

  • Weather Protection – Once again, protection from rain, snow, and even direct sunlight are some of the greatest benefits of a hospital canopy. This is important for doctors, nurses, and hospital staff who want to avoid getting wet or overheated outside of the building. It’s equally important in emergency situations, when first responders need to transport a patient from an ambulance to the hospital without exposing them to temperatures or weather conditions that could cause them harm. A canopy greatly reduces the amount of time patients need to be “exposed” to the outdoors before entering the hospital.
  • Efficient Access – Canopies make it easy to know exactly where to pick up and drop off patients. This allows for a more efficient flow of traffic in and out of the hospital. In addition to protecting patients from the weather, it also helps ensure smoother transitions between wheelchairs, stretchers, and vehicles.
  • Modern Aesthetic – Though they are functional by nature, hospital canopies can also add to the aesthetic appeal of a hospital building. A hospital canopy helps designate the entrance, while also allowing for unique designs that complement the existing architecture (more on that later).
  • Sustainability – A hospital awning offers a very simple way to better control the temperature at the entrance of the hospital. It can reduce direct sunlight that might raise the temperature on hot days, while also limiting cold winds that could lower the temperature. This reduces both heating and cooling costs for the hospital, adding to the long-term sustainability of the building.
  • Enhanced Security – Canopies make it easier to install overhead lighting, which can make hospital entrances more secure at night. Having a well-lit, accessible entryway can give people greater peace of mind, even in emergency situations. Canopy lighting can also help hospital security better monitor the area, whether in person or remotely via security cameras.

Popular Hospital Canopy Designs

Since hospital awnings and canopies can be custom-made, there are virtually limitless ways to create designs to meet the needs of a particular property. That said, many hospitals have very similar needs. As a result, there are a few popular hospital canopy designs that you’ll frequently see at the front (or back) of hospital buildings:

  • Extruded Flat-Top Canopy – An extruded flat-top canopy features a simple, horizontal design that extends directly from the hospital edifice. Using extruded aluminum, this canopy design offers a sleek, modern look that also provides ample space for overhead coverage. It also allows for more free space to move around underneath, as the support system does not require columns that might block foot traffic.
  • Multi-Column Canopy – A traditional canopy features multiple post or column supports (typically at each corner). Not only does this design provide excellent structural stability, but it also allows for canopies and awnings that can extend further away from the hospital.
  • Sloped Canopy – A sloped canopy incorporates an angled roof, typically designed for efficient water and snow runoff. The slope can vary depending on the aesthetic and materials used, though many slopes are created using louvered roofs.
  • Cantilevered Canopy – Unlike a multi-column canopy, a cantilevered canopy has a support system at only one end. This allows the use of strong beams or columns, without obstructing the walking path underneath.

Hospital Canopy Materials

The materials needed for a hospital canopy are highly dependent on the overall design and aesthetic of the project. However, certain materials have more functional benefits than others. For example, a glass canopy is great for keeping out rain and snow, while still letting sunshine in. It also is popular among hospitals that want to maintain visibility without taking away from the modern design.

Extruded aluminum is one of the most common materials — and for good reason. It often functions as the base material for the canopy frame, structure, and support system. Aluminum roofs are also popular, as they are durable and very resistant to moisture damage.

Wood is less common for hospitals, though it can still be used for the roof of a hospital canopy. For instance, a hospital could use aluminum to form a multi-column canopy, and have a louvered wood roof with a glass top to maximize utility and create a more three-dimensional effect.

You may encounter canopy materials beyond aluminum, glass, and wood, but they are often not suitable for a hospital setting. For a hospital, efficacy, modernity, and professionalism are key, so utilizing weaker materials (like fabrics) for a canopy could do more harm than good.

Hospital Canopies by Duralux

Are you looking for a hospital canopy that meets the needs of your property? Do you need help creating the perfect hospital canopy design? Finally, are you looking for canopies and awnings for hospitals that will stand the test of time? If so, Duralux has the expertise and designs to see your architectural dreams come to fruition.

At Duralux, we offer a wide range of material and style options, from our Alumilúx extruded aluminum canopies to our DuraWood wooden canopies on aluminum frames. This gives you more power to decide exactly how the final product will look. You can also consult with our experts to figure out which design will best serve the needs of your hospital staff and patients. Our custom architectural canopies are specifically made to bridge the gap between lasting functionality and superior style, giving you more room to customize the perfect entrance for your hospital.

Interested in adding a custom canopy to your hospital or place of business? Reach out to the experts at Duralux today!