What is Evidence-Based Design?

1. Overview of the Topic – Summary:

From Wikipedia: Evidence-Based Design (EBD) is the process of constructing a building or physical environment based on scientific research to achieve the best possible outcomes. Evidence-based design is especially important in evidence-based medicine, where research has shown that environment design can affect patient outcomes. It is also used in architecture, interior design, landscape design, facilities management, education, and city planning. Evidence-based design is part of the larger movement towards evidence-based practices.

2. What is the focus of this Topic?:

From the The Center for Health Design: Evidence-Based Design (EBD) is the process of basing decisions about the built environment on credible research to achieve the best possible outcomes.

A large and growing body of evidence attests to the fact that physical environment impacts patient stress, patient and staff safety, staff effectiveness and quality of care provided in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Basing healthcare facility planning and design decisions on this evidence to achieve the best possible patient, staff and operational outcomes is what evidence-based design is all about.

3. Why it’s listed here – What is the relevance to Architectural Medicine?

While much of the research of Evidence-Based Design (EBD) has been focused on creating healthier Hospital Designs, Architectural Medicine strives to promote these built environment benefits for the larger spectrum of Architecture to include all built environments.

By utilizing the knowledge of the research in this field with topics such as noise and lighting issues (reduction of harsh artificial lighting and the introduction of natural lighting), the occupants can feel less stressed and feel more supported and comforted in their built environments.

These topics of noise and lighting, along with many other design topics, can support better design decisions in the Hospital as well as all buildings for the benefit of personal and societal health and wellness.

These benefits can support the wellness of humans on all levels – physically, mentally and emotionally – for health and well-being.

4. Common groups and individuals involved with this topic:

From Wikipedia: The roots of Evidence-Based Design could go back to 1860 when Florence Nightingale identified fresh air as “the very first canon of nursing,” and emphasized the importance of quiet, proper lighting, warmth and clean water. Nightingale applied statistics to nursing, notably with “Diagram of the causes of mortality in the army in the East”.

The evidence-based design movement began much later in the 1970s with Archie Cochranes’s book “Effectiveness and Efficiency: Random Reflections on Health Services” to collect, codify, and disseminate “evidence” gathered in randomised controlled trials relative to the built environment.

A 1984 study by Roger Ulrich found that surgical patients with a view of nature suffered fewer complications, used less pain medication, and were discharged sooner than those who looked out on a brick wall; and laid the foundation for what has now become a discipline known as evidence-based design. This study, “View Through a Window May Influence Recovery from Surgery,” has been one of the keys and foundations of Evidence-Based Design development.

The Center for Heath Design (CHD), a non-profit organization that supports healthcare and design professionals to improve the understanding and application of design that influence the performance of healthcare, patient satisfaction, staff productivity and safety.

5. Resources: