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EVIDENCE-BASED DESIGN: THE STORY SO FAR

Environmental evidence-based design research has been gathered in a scientific way only since the 1980s.Roger Ulrich carried out ground-breaking research in the early '80s showing that views of landscape rather than a brick wall had a beneficial effect on surgical patients.He has continued looking into the effects of art on patients, acoustics on communication and so on, and he is working with NHS Estates.Home-grown research by John Welles-Thorpe and Bryan Lawson at Sheffield University has confirmed the hypothesis that improved design quality of interiors has a beneficial effect on patients and staff. Richard Mazuch's work on the effect on the senses of environmental design - both positive and negative - is developing. A data bank of evidence-based design (EBD) is being developed at Sheffield School of Architecture. We also have Architects for Health, an association of architects and medical planners with vast experience. It is a subject that engages the RIBA Futures Group and CABE and the Nuffield Foundation financing the 2020 Vision: Our Future Healthcare Environments report.Not least, we have NHS Estates, where innovative thinking in procurement and EBD is being developed. It realises we need research - and quickly.The latest research is a report by architect Ann Noble for the NHS Estates, entitled Reduction of Hospital Acquired Infections by Design.

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