It is important to establish a clear and consistent identity for all floor levels as one
of the basic components of the building's way finding system.
The first level of a building is the level patients and visitors enter the building, from
grade, to the main lobby. It is people's natural instinct to expect that when they
walk in the main lobby of a building, that is the building's first level.
When labeling floor levels, start at the first level as Floor 1, first work down through
the lower floors, identify all parking & basement levels. Then work up, identify all
mezzanine, interstitial, and upper floors.
The established floor level identity should always be displayed at elevator lobbies,
elevator control buttons, directories and stairs. Buildings that have secondary
and service exterior entries on more than one level should display entry/exiting
information along with the level identity. This assists people entering a building to
know that they are not entering the buildings main level thus avoiding confusion
Clear and consistent level identification is essential for buildings located on sloped
sites with portions of the levels partially above and below grade.
Adjacent or multiple buildings on a sloped site that have floors that do not align
should have clear level identification along with effective directional information.
Keep in mind the "front door to the medical center main lobby" defines the first
On a sloped site condition, where buildings are connected with an enclosed
walkway or corridor, and the building floor levels do not align, an evaluation needs
to be made regarding coordination of floor level identification. (For example, a
patient enters the facility at the medical center main lobby and wants to go to
a clinic that is located in another building, which is physically connected to the
If the transition in walking from one building to the next is VISUALLY VERY CLEAR,
then the buildings can retain their individual floor level numbers. However, at the
entry points to each building, HIGHLY VISIBLE floor level identification must be
displayed at the building entry points.
If the transition from one building to the next is NOT CLEAR and a person is not
aware they have entered another building, then the buildings floor level numbers
need to be coordinated and matched. This may mean renumbering the floors in
the secondary building in a nonconforming way.