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Creating safe space for clients and staff

Adult & Children’s Behavioral Health Unit Renovations

Built in the 1980s, Presbyterian's Children's Behavioral unit has seen many years of use and the outdated facilities needed of major upgrades to both the infrastructure and interior spaces. The building had dated fixtures, worn finishes, limited spaces for client use, and insufficient staff support areas.

Dekker, along with key stakeholders for the behavioral health department at Presbyterian, worked together within a limited budget to rehabilitate existing client rooms, and stretched the budget to achieve much more.

The unit was expanded from 10 client rooms to 15, each with "wicket" style doors allowing staff access into the rooms even if clients were attempting to barricade themselves. Showers were updated with seamless solid surface materials, while shower head and control walls featuring ligature resistant design were incorporated into the updated showers. Glass mirrors were removed from the existing client walls and reflective polycarbonate was securely installed to further limit risk of self-harm. Door hardware was replaced with anti-ligature controls and continuous piano hinges limiting ligature access points. All plumbing fixtures were concealed to prevent unwanted access and the thermostats within the rooms removed.

Supporting client areas were all brought up to standards – creating larger, safer activity spaces which featured colors in a nature theme that is infused throughout the space. A new nourishment station provides clients controlled access to beverages, but can be secured with an overhead door when necessary. A new and large group therapy space was created that was directly accessible from the unit – providing clients with computer access and large views of the existing courtyard. Furniture throughout the space was carefully selected to accent architectural elements and create a welcoming environment, while keeping the safety of both clients and staff in mind.

The dated infrastructure also required significant upgrades. Mechanical systems were replaced in many client and staff areas re-aligning the existing fire rated walls and creating a new smoke compartment. Dated plumbing lines were reconfigured with additional shut-off valves so maintenance could access without entering the client rooms and providing additional controls for staff to prevent facility damage. Electrical lighting was updated with secure tamper resistant fixtures featuring long life LED technology to further reduce the need for maintenance staff to disrupt the quiet, healing environment for clients.

Kaseman Hospital

Albuquerque, NM

10,001-25,000 sf


Beyond the Building

  • Community Benefit
  • Experience Redefined
  • Mission Support
  • Wellness