NICU Benchmarks

The following table illustrates data on recently completed NICU facilities. Information for the first six cases studies has been provided by Christner, Inc.

No. of Beds (Isolettes)
No. of Rooms
SF of Patient Room
Family Space
Dept Off
SF of
SF of
SF of
SF of
NICU A 49 24 220 260 Yes No Yes Yes No 5 0 0 10
NICU B 48 15 140 367 No Yes Yes No No 10 2 0 11
NICU C 50 49 165 383 Yes No No No No 5 3 0 11
NICU D 33 30 214 464 Yes No Yes No No 8 3 4 10
NICU E 29 26 142 492 Yes Yes Yes No No 11 8 0 4
NICU F 62 55 186 805 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 14 69 9 18
Stormont-Vail 32 27 162 664 Yes Yes Yes Yes No

VCU 40 36 164 616 Yes


DGSF = Departmental Gross Square Footage. It includes all spaces and circulation within the department. DGSF is measured from the inside of all exterior walls surrounding the department, and from the exterior of any interior partitions that surround the department. Building support functions, such as mechanical shafts, stairs, elevators, electric and data closets are excluded from this number.

The line items for Family Spaces, Department Offices, Staff Support, On-Call, and Academic Offices were to indicate whether these particular items were included within the department itself. Any of these spaces may have been provided outside of the unit .

Family Space included Waiting Rooms and Lounges.
Staff Support included Lockers, Lounges, and Conference Rooms.
Clean indicates Clean Supply/ Linen Rooms and/or alcoves.
Meds includes Medication Rooms and/or alcoves.
Nutrition includes Nourishment Rooms, Breastmilk Freezers, Formula Storage and Mixing Room and/or alcoves.
Equipment includes any Storage Rooms and/or alcoves.


As you can tell from the relationship between the number of beds and the number of rooms, these case studies are not all private room configurations. Actual private room models were scarce at the time of this study, so other configurations were also benchmarked, especially those visited by the group.

You will notice that the number of rooms and number of beds do not match on any of these studies. That is due to the use of twin rooms. It is often desirable to be able to accomodate twins, or higher order multiples, in a single (or adjoining) patient room(s). The percentage of twin rooms that should be created is specific to the facility and the number of multiple births that they have or predict in the future.

In Case Study A, the DGSF per room is for a semi-private room (given the total number of rooms and number of beds), so when the total DGSF is divided by the number of patients it is a similar number. Also, there are no offices or on-call rooms in the contiguous department to drive up the square footage.

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