Navigating the Legal Requirements for Hospital Designing and Construction

We all know that hospitals are complicated yet crucial structures. So when it comes to designing a hospital, there are some rules that must be followed. The professional and skilled designers and engineers are well-versed in these rules, ensuring the successful construction of a hospital.

On the other hand, an unfunctional design can make it difficult to do tasks of any kind, lower the standard of care, and make the expenses higher. Every hospital has a wide range of functional units and services. These comprise hospitality functions like food, service, and housekeeping; diagnostic and treatment functions like clinical laboratories, radiology, emergency departments, and surgery. Just like this, the scope and precision of laws, policies, and oversight that control hospital development and operations vary a lot. Specialized knowledge and expertise are needed for all of the hospital’s many and continuously changing activities, including the extremely complex mechanical, electrical, and telecommunications systems.

Since no one can properly possess all knowledge, expert advisors are essential to hospital design and construction. These experts take the organization’s financial standing into account when weighing mandatory requirements, real functional needs (internal traffic and relationships to other departments), and idealized scenarios and individual preferences.

Boards Providing Guidelines For Designing Hospitals in India

  • NABH- National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers
  • MCI-Medical Council of India
  • NBC-National Building Code
  • NABL-National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories
  • JCI-Joint Commission International

General Requirements Need to be Taken Into Consideration:


A hospital or other health facility should be situated in an easily accessible area, away from railroads, freight yards, playgrounds, airports, industrial plants, or disposable plants. It should also be free from excessive noise, smoke, dust, or foul odors.


A structure intended for a hospital or other healthcare facility must only be utilized for this function.


A safe environment for patients, staff, and the general public must be provided by and maintained by a hospital and other healthcare facilities.

  • Only doors that lead directly outside the building, inside stairs, ramps, and external stairs are permitted as exits.
  • For every story of the building, there should be a minimum of two separate exits.
  • Exits must be immediately at the end of a public area outside the structure.


A hospital and other healthcare facilities are required to guarantee the safety of all people and equipment inside the building.

Patient Movement

Enough space must be provided for patients to move freely, whether they are in wheelchairs, stretchers, or beds. There must always be open, unfettered circulation for moving patients from one location to another.

  • The minimal width of a corridor for the patient as well as equipment access needs to be 2.44 meters.
  • The width of corridors in places where moving beds, stretchers, and equipment is uncommon may be limited to 1.83 meters.
  • The upper floor’s ancillary, clinical, and nursing areas must have access to an elevator or ramp.
  • The hospital’s entrance must be accessible by a ramp; it cannot be on the same level as the site.


A hospital and other healthcare facilities must have appropriate lighting in every area to support patients’ comfort, healing, and rehabilitation as well as staff members’ ability to do their work.


Enough ventilation must be offered to guarantee the comfort of patients, staff, and members of the public.


In order to meet the criteria for acoustics and privacy in specific areas and enable the unhindered conduct of activities, hospitals, and other health facilities must maintain an appropriate sound level and sufficient visual seclusion.

Water Supply

There must be an approved public water supply system in the hospital. It needs to be safe for drinking and must reach the building free of cross-connections.

Waste Disposal 

When available, liquid waste must be disposed of into an authorized public sewerage system; radioactive and other hazardous liquid waste must be collected and treated following international regulations; and solid waste must be gathered, processed, and disposed of under applicable codes, laws, or ordinances.


To maintain a clean and healthy hospital environment, utilities for the sanitary system’s upkeep, such as an authorized water supply and sewage system, must be supplied throughout the premises.


A successful program for hospital building maintenance must be in place. The structures and machinery must be maintained and repaired on time. This will help avoid frequent equipment and buildings breaking down.

Fire Protection

Fire detection devices, such as smoke detectors in ceilings, peepholes inside, and fire alarms must be installed on walls. Key locations must have firefighting tools like fire extinguishers and fire hoses that are easily visible and reachable.


An efficient graphic system must consist of multiple separate visual aids and devices arranged to offer information, direction, identification, prohibition, warning, and official notice—all of which are necessary for a hospital’s and other healthcare facilities’ optimal operation.


Hospitals must have appropriate parking spaces.

Bottom Line

The construction and design of a hospital in India requires careful planning and adherence to regulations set forth by various authorities. It is essential to have industry experts by your side to navigate the intricate web of standards for many operational domains, maximizing functional design, and guaranteeing code compliance. If you want any further information about hospital design regulations, please let us know.

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