Psychological and Physiological Use of Color Green in Healthcare Design

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Behind the Design
Small-scale cafeteria designed for Banner Ironwood Medical Center

Photo Caption: This small-scale cafeteria designed for Banner Ironwood Medical Center demonstrates how the use of bright colors and images of nature provide a diversion from a typical hospital setting. Photo by Ross Cooperthwaite: SmithGroupJJR

Color and nature provide healing benefits in hospital settings…

The following information comes from Architectural Record‘s article titled: Functional Color and Design in Healthcare Environments. The article was sponsored by Glidden Professional and written by Celeste Allen Novak, AIA, LEED AP and Barbara Richardson. The information here summarizes the outcome of the color GREEN in healthcare design. To read the complete article, click here

Applied research and careful study conducted by professionals on the impact of color and design on healthcare settings have changed the design palette used in new healthcare settings.

There is a wide consensus that there is no clear evidence suggesting that any one color is effective in achieving a particular healthcare outcome. In fact, the highly subjective nature of color, color combinations as well as cultural associations of color palettes make the selection of effective color for any environment difficult to predict. However, data does suggest that design professionals who understand the elements of color and the introduction of nature into healthcare environments can make an impact on healing.

Designers and architects who engage all five senses into the design process can enhance the healing process.


Green 2The use of nature as a design principle is not new to healthcare design.

Green is in harmony with nature. Each shade or range of color draws cues from the four seasons. Fresh new green found in spring’s first growth and the deepening green leaves and grass of summer are some examples.

Bringing earth tones such as green into the hospital interior provides a soothing, calming environment that promotes healing.


• Enhances Concentration
• Facilitates Judgment
• Nurtures Relaxation
• Offers Balance
• Promotes Security
• Provides Refreshing Atmosphere
• Renews Spirit
• Suggests Healing

Photo Caption: Color used in surgical areas at the Elmhurst Memorial Hospital, designed by Albert Kahn Associates, Inc., provides a calming and soothing atmosphere for patients as well as an inspirational and functional work atmosphere for staff. Photo by Scott McDonald



  1. Appellointeriors
    August 10, 2020

    Its a great post. Thanks for sharing

  2. off plan
    November 30, 2020

    Awesome post… keep it up u r working good for our health

  3. Hamza Iftikhar
    September 11, 2021

    Such a piece of beneficial information. Thanks for this valuable post.

    October 24, 2021

    Great information! All benefits are amazing and you are right that green provides and enhances harmony.

  5. Off Plan DXB
    August 22, 2022

    Awesome post. You give great information about the color effect in our daily life. We have studio apartments for sale in Dubai. We will use this color strategy in our apartments.


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