More research can help demonstrate the value of evidence-based design – HCD Magazine

Evidence Based Design (EBD) This process has enabled architectural and design firms as well as healthcare provider organizations to make great strides in quantifying the return on their design investment.

A growing number of certified EBD practitioners continue to add to the evidence supporting the EBD value proposition, meaning that design choices made based on proven research can have a positive impact on a wide range of health, wellness, safety, and financial outcomes.

Although these options may incur additional initial costs, these costs are far outweighed by the savings and improvements in both the short and long term.

Evidence-based design is worth the upfront cost

But despite all the demonstrated effectiveness of EBD in generating a range of positive outcomes, current economic uncertainties, rising labor and material costs, and potential capital budget contractions threaten to slow or even reverse the progress made in adopting EBD practices. There will likely be additional pressure to reduce initial project expenditure, even at the expense of increased long-term operating costs.

Because EBD has an upfront cost, it is an attractive target for cost-cutting efforts.

Call for more research on building design outcomes

early this summer The Center for Health DesignThe leadership team has gathered for a few days to reflect on the impending healthcare financial storm and explore strategies for addressing the need for our industry to better educate, measure and define the value of design and the role we all can play in helping to measure that value.

We recognized that although we have made great strides in educating industry and building and communicating the business case for design, we need more research organizations to support this work.

In the coming years, one of our main goals at the Center is to increase the measurement and sharing of building design outcomes and to expand the community of people who understand and use the power of EBD. And thankfully, help is on the horizon.

Using technology to measure building performance has become increasingly important, taking advantage of the new generation of data collection that we have just started.

We have seen how sensor technology has evolved and can collect real-time and continuous data on various building parameters.

Artificial intelligence-powered data analytics can process large data sets and identify patterns. And virtual replicas of physical buildings are being created through digital twin technology. This allows testing to optimize the design before manufacturing or modification begins.

Over time, the goal is to comprehensively measure the relationship between upfront investment in capital projects and long-term operating costs, including improved patient outcomes, improved employee productivity and satisfaction, and operating cost reductions. Success will take many forms and depend on many partnerships.

We believe in the power of design and the power of quantifying design to support overall better health. We look forward to working with our healthcare design community to ensure the continued and increased role of EBD.

Debra Levine is the President and CEO of the Center for Health Design. He can be contacted at

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