2024 Healthcare Design A/E/C Survey Sheds Light On Industry Trends: Part 2

Healthcare Design’s 2024 Architecture/Engineering/Construction Survey

To read Part 1 of Healthcare Design’s A/E/C Survey report, go here.

Healthcare Design’s biennial A/E/C Survey provides a design and construction outlook on the healthcare design sector. The survey is open to any U.S. architecture/engineering or construction firm that completed at least one healthcare project in the year prior.

In addition to shedding light on business and financial data, the survey asks firms to provide open-ended responses to capture the opportunities and challenges of healthcare design today.

And while the picture painted is a complex one, at its center is a healthcare system burdened by an economic climate that’s greatly influencing when and how investments in the built environment are made.

“As [healthcare] organizations balance the need for innovative and human-centered facilities with financial realities, projects may be put on hold, canceled, or evolve significantly from the initial scope,” said Lauren Lazarescu, director of healthcare program development, Flad Architects (Tampa, Fla.). “This creates challenges in planning and staffing architectural projects; however, it presents an important opportunity and fundamental responsibility to strategically assess where and how care should occur, right-size facilities, and ensure the highest and best use across the healthcare system.”

HDR, Leo A Daly: What healthcare projects are seeing growth?

One glimpse of what that’s meant in terms of the specific projects being delivered was shared by Hank Adams, global director of health at HDR (Dallas).

“Healthcare systems continue to invest in replacement of aging infrastructure, ambulatory care strategies, and specialty care facilities including cancer, pediatrics, and behavioral health, creating abundant opportunities for firms and a steady stream of both small- and large-scale healthcare projects in the pipeline.”

Several responding firms noted that the primary way health systems are responding to rising inflation and slimming profit margins is consolidation. This is affecting the healthcare design landscape in numerous ways, including creating a backlog of projects as well as reducing the overall number of clients.

“As systems merge, the decision-making matrix for hiring design professionals often changes, leading to the challenge of making new connections, but also the opportunity to work with new systems as these new relationships are forged,” said Joshua Theodore, vice president and global health practice leader at Leo A Daly (Dallas).

EwingCole, AE Works, GBBN discuss financial impact of repurposed, prefabricated healthcare projects

At a project level, financial realities are pushing solutions that address needs for reduced cost and speed to market, respondents shared. “Hospitals are looking at how to stretch their limited dollars further by completing more projects that repurpose existing space instead of constructing new space,” said Jason Fierko, principal, director of healthcare at EwingCole (Philadelphia).

Several tactics were shared for how systems are pursuing project savings, too—for example, through prefabrication and modular building solutions that provide high-value time savings and quicker deployment, said Jeanmarie Zimmerman, healthcare planning and strategy leader at AE Works (Pittsburgh).

Michael Lied, principal of GBBN Architects (Cincinnati) similarly noted on-site prefabrication (or industrialized construction) as a promising solution, given its increased speed to market, decreased construction waste, better labor utilization, and lowered costs.

“The problem is that to meet patient demand and address aging facilities, [systems] have to build today; but doing so risks getting caught in challenging market fluctuations associated with increased construction costs, supply chain issues, and a diminishing labor market” Lied said. “Given this environment, firms must collaborate to bring creative solutions to healthcare systems.”

CO Architects, Flad, Page, SmithGroup talk technology, AI’s role in healthcare design

Financial uncertainty aside, respondents are also considering the evolving healthcare program and integrative technologies that must be addressed in projects, as well. Thomas Chessum, principal of CO Architects (Los Angeles) noted that more clients are pursuing projects with a diversity of functions.

“Projects are increasingly integrating specialty research, including laboratories, into the clinical care environment. Educational or training environments are also finding their way into the clinical platform,” he said.

On the technology front, not only designing spaces for integration of today’s platforms but enabling them to flex in the future is a critical opportunity, added Flad’s Lazarescu.

At Page, Tushar Gupta, healthcare market sector leader, said the Houston-based firm is “hastening to understand the challenges and opportunities presented by the exponential growth of artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted technologies.”

From digital twins to robotics to simulation training spaces, Gupta said it’s critical to understand how the adoption of such technologies will impact design. “Instead of architecture being just a repository for advanced technology, future hospitals will become the technological framework in which platforms can plug and play. Healthcare spaces, then, need to be designed for radical flexibility,” he said.

Wayne Barger, vice president, director of health at SmithGroup (Dallas), echoed that sentiment. “I don’t think we can overstate AI’s impact on healthcare. It will transform the way that healthcare facilities operate and have a significant downstream effect on facilities, from workflow to infrastructure,” he said. “My prediction is it means more facility needs rather than less.”

Firm face staffing challenges

And while opportunities don’t run short, respondents also recognized the challenge of having appropriate staffing to respond to them.

As recruitment and retention remains top of mind, the current remote or hybrid work environment is stressing firms’ ability to provide proper mentorship, training, and collaborative experience necessary to excel in this field, one respondent noted.

HDR’s Adams added, however, that healthcare design is in a good position to attract the talent required.

“Overall, there is very high demand for experienced healthcare design talent throughout our industry, which bodes well for emerging talent,” he said.

Jennifer Kovacs Silvis is brand director of Healthcare Design. She can be reached at

To read “2024 Healthcare Design A/E/C Survey Results: Part 1,” go here.

2024 Healthcare Design A/E/C Survey Results: Part 1

Healthcare Design’s 2024 Architecture/Engineering/Construction Survey

To read Part 2 of Healthcare Design’s A/E/C Survey report, go here.

Financial pressures and budgetary constraints continue to color the landscape of the U.S. healthcare system, creating a complex design and construction outlook, shared the respondents to Healthcare Design’s 2024 A/E/C Survey.

The survey, open to any U.S. architecture/engineering or construction firm that completed at least one healthcare project in the year prior, sheds light on a post-COVID-19 environment defined by lots of healthcare system consolidations and the opportunities and challenges that come with them.

Meanwhile, the need to integrate advanced technologies, establish flexible care environments, and explore bottom-line friendly renovation or reuse projects is inspiring the facilities being delivered amid this climate, respondents indicate.

The biennial A/E/C Survey was conducted online in January and February; 31 firms participated. All financial and business data reflected in this report is tied to their 2023 results.

Together, healthcare represents an average of 51 percent of the responding firms’ overall work; 38 percent of respondents reported healthcare as their primary business segment (60 percent or more of their business).

Project proposals, RFPs, and revenue in 2023

Participating firms represent a reported total of 2,583 healthcare projects completed in 2023. When considering if that was more, fewer, or about the same as the prior year, 39 percent of firms said they completed more projects, followed closely by 35 percent that saw about the same.

Twenty-six percent of respondents reported completing fewer projects than in 2022. Comparatively, in the 2022 A/E/C Survey, assessing healthcare business in 2021, 45 percent of firms reported completing more projects than the prior year, 36 percent about the same, and 19 percent fewer.

This year, firms reported a total of 3,254 requests for proposals (RFPs) received in 2023, which 50 percent said was more than the prior year. Meanwhile, 30 percent of responding firms said their number of RFPs was about the same, and 20 percent saw fewer.

In the 2022 survey, results were similar, although more firms were experiencing growth at the time in the pandemic rebound. For example, 60 percent of respondents received more RFPs than the year prior, 21 percent about the same, and 19 percent fewer.

Healthcare contracts and construction costs

Likewise, 45 percent of this year’s respondents said they signed more new contracts than in 2022, 29 percent about the same, and 26 percent fewer. In the 2022 survey, 52 percent reported signing more contracts, 27 about the same, and 21 percent fewer.

In total, the firms reported 2,350 new contracts signed last year at a combined value (construction cost excluding land) of $27.7 billion. Breaking that down by service provided, the firms reported 73 percent of the business was architecture based, 18 percent engineering, and 9 percent construction.

As for total healthcare revenue, the responding firms represent a reported $2.2 billion of revenue in 2023. Of that, 76 percent was architecture based, 17 percent engineering, and 7 percent construction. Looking ahead, respondents shared that a collective 3,072 projects remained in progress at the close of 2023 and 1,479 projects are scheduled for completion in 2024.

(To view this article with corresponding charts, please see the digital edition.)

Growth in healthcare renovations, hospital projects

For 2023, firms saw a continued uptick in the number of renovation projects versus new construction, with 56 percent of projects completed last year renovations versus 44 percent new construction.

This maintained the climb in renovations seen in the 2022 survey, when renovations comprised 60 percent of projects completed (survey results in prior years consistently captured a near 50-50 breakdown).

Of firms’ 2023 work, 51 percent was hospital projects, 39 percent outpatient, 7 percent infrastructure only, and 4 percent skilled nursing/rehabilitation.

Completed healthcare projects include hospital, outpatient, infrastructure, skill nursing/rehab

The results were very similar to those in the last survey, when respondents reported 52 percent of completed projects was hospital based, 36 outpatient, 6 percent infrastructure, and 6 percent skilled nursing/rehab.

Completed projects leaned heavily toward smaller footprints, with 66 percent reported between 5,000 and 19,999 square feet. The next largest size range reported was 20,000 to 49,999 square feet, but even that was at just 15 percent. Results in 2022 captured a similar breakdown; at that time, 55 percent fell into that smallest range, with 20 percent in the second.

Meanwhile, 45 percent of firms said sizes in 2023 were about the same as those built in 2022, whereas 34 percent reported they were smaller and 21 percent larger.

Shift in project values, primary drivers

For project values, another shift was captured. Respondents reported 36 percent of projects completed fell in the $1 million to $9.9 million range. Twenty-two percent were valued less than $500,000, 14 percent between $10 million and $19.9 million, and 13 percent between $500,000 and $999,999.

Conversely in 2022, 33 percent of projects completed in 2021 fell at the below $500,000 mark; next, 29 percent were valued between $1 million and $9.9 million and 16 percent between $500,000 and $999,999.

When asked if project values were higher, lower, or about the same in 2023 when compared to 2022, 43 percent of firms said they were higher, while 36 percent reported about the same and 21 percent lower.

Similarly in 2022, 48 percent of firms reported higher values, 41 percent about the same, and 11 percent lower.

Renovation, modernization, expansion, growth of outpatient sites, among healthcare project drivers

As for the most common client need that drove new projects last year, firms focused on two primary drivers: the renovation/modernization of space (38 percent) and expansion of/addition to an existing facility (28 percent). The next closest need was growth of outpatient sites, selected by 14 percent of respondents.

The 2022 survey followed the same cadence, with the above ranking as the top three choices then, as well. When asked to consider all the needs pushing new projects today and to rank them in order, respondents additionally chose renovation work with addition, growth of outpatient sites, repurposing space for new use, replacement of outdated buildings, and consolidation of existing facilities/services.

Top 3 client goals in healthcare projects: revenue growth, flexibility, addressing aging facilities

Next, firms identified the number one goals clients were wishing to achieve via new projects in 2023. The top three choices were:

  • growing revenue (28 percent)
  • achieving future flexibility/adaptability (21 percent)
  • addressing aging building stock (17 percent).

Improving the patient experience, supporting population health

When ranking all options, firms indicated other top-of-mind goals include improving patient experience/satisfaction, adding service lines/specialties, improving staff experience/satisfaction, and supporting population health/improving access to care. This, too, continued results captured in 2022.

Lastly, the survey asked firms to consider their own internal challenges, with 30 percent selecting construction cost escalation/labor shortage as the biggest one they faced in 2023. Next was talent acquisition at 24 percent, followed by canceled/delayed projects at 13 percent and decrease in number of projects at 10 percent.

Healthcare project budgets and funding

Again, when all possible options were ranked, other top vote-getters were decrease in size and/or budget of projects, clients unable to fund projects, achieving client buy-in and managing volume/scope of end user input, and pressure to lower fees.

While these results, too, followed the pattern of responses seen in 2022, a notable change is construction cost escalation/labor shortage bypassing talent acquisition as the most-chosen firm challenge. In 2022, talent acquisition was selected as the top challenge by 34 percent of firms and construction cost escalation/labor shortage by 25 percent.

Jennifer Kovacs Silvis is brand director of Healthcare Design. She can be reached at

To read “2024 Healthcare Design A/E/C Survey Sheds Light On Industry Trends: Part 2,” go here.

Exciting Transitions In The Works At Healthcare Design

Jennifer Kovacs SilvisIt’s been 13 years since I joined the Healthcare Design team in September 2010. That timing worked out just right that a handful of weeks later, I was heading to Las Vegas for my first Healthcare Design Conference + Expo.

One of my on-site assignments was to help with the stage presentation of our annual magazine awards ceremony. As I listened to the words being shared about the projects we were celebrating, the important work of this industry, and the results being achieved, I couldn’t help but be drawn in.

In that moment, I realized how lucky I was to be there, to be part of this industry. I realized the difference good design can make; how the built environment shapes the experiences of patients, family, and staff members; how there are people in this world driven by the mission to make healthcare spaces better.

And I gotta say, I was hooked—and I have been ever since.

Over these years, I’ve had the immense honor of supporting this industry in our own brand mission to provide the insight, information, and inspiration you need to do your jobs and continue to elevate the field of healthcare design. I’ve been fortunate to experience lots of professional opportunities and meaningful relationships along the way, too.

My new role as brand director

Now, it’s time to switch gears. With this issue, I’ll step away from the magazine to take on a new role of Brand Director. In this position, I get to keep doing all those things I love but in a broader context. I’ll dive deep into how we at Healthcare Design can better serve you on the road ahead, specifically through more robust and varied content, education, and event opportunities.

And I want to make sure all of you are partners in the process. I encourage you to email me at with any nascient ideas or long-desired wishlist items around the types of content you want to consume, formats for education you prefer, or events that don’t exist yet and you wish they did.

That’s the best part of transitions like these—they allow a much-needed pause point to evaluate the current state and try something new.

HCD’s new editor-in-chief

This transition also means I get to announce our new Editor-in-Chief, Anne DiNardo. Anne has been a critical member of the HCD team for 11 years, and there is no one more capable or qualified to take this magazine into the future. Join me in congratulating Anne!

I was lucky to have one dream job, and I can’t wait to start my second. I’m so happy I get to do it with this industry by my side. I’ll see you soon.

National Geographic’s Annie Griffiths Discusses Leaving A Mark In Healthcare Design

One of the best parts of our HCD Forum event, which we held this past September in Savannah, Ga., is that it allows us to do something a little different. In fact, the goal of Forum is for it to feel substantially different than our annual Healthcare Design Conference + Expo, or any other industry event for that matter. (For more on the upcoming HCD Conference, held Nov. 4-7 in New Orleans, click here.)

Check out Healthcare Design’s November issue for a visual recap of this year’s Forum. But one of the ways we’re able to achieve the desired feel is through our programming. Many of the sessions at Forum are a departure from those you’d find in our educational lineup at HCD Conference—I’d call them more healthcare design adjacent.

The goal is to challenge existing lines of thinking or provide a new lens through which attendees might view their work.

This year, we were fortunate to have Annie Griffiths join us as keynote speaker. Annie is one of the first women photographers to work for National Geographic, and she shared with attendees some of the lessons she’s learned across her three-decade-plus career on how to connect with anyone, anywhere.

But it’s where she took us next that I wanted to explore here.

Leaving a legacy through healthcare design

Annie also led a workshop on the topic of legacy, something I wasn’t initially sure would be a fit. But the more I considered the idea, the more I realized the distinct opportunity you all have to create legacy each day.

Everything you plan, design, and build will impact communities for years, even decades, to come, not to mention what you take from each project and apply to future ones. And while that’s all there, organically, it can be easy to lose sight of what drove you to this work in the first place.

Sometimes a nudge in the right direction can help us all reset, to identify the passion for this field that might get buried under budgets, deadlines, labor shortages, and so on. Plus, it helps ensure the mark you leave is the one that matters most to you.

Annie got the process started by asking Forum attendees to consider one of three questions:

  • When you start a new project, who are your favorite people to design for or to speak with to inform your work, and what do you wish you could do for them?
  • If you could have one week each month to work on a project, what would that project be?
  • What non-monetary legacy would you like to leave, how would you want your mark on this industry to be described?

It’s a lot to consider, but I’m sure you’re drawn to at least one of those. Our attendees certainly were.

I encourage you to pause, give it thought, and appreciate the ability you have in this career to make a true, lasting difference.

And the next time we’re together, I’d love to hear what you decided your difference will be.

Industry Events Are Important Sources Of Inspiration, Ideas

Jennifer Kovacs SilvisI’m sure I’ve quipped on this before, but the wild thing about working in publishing is always having one foot in the present and the other months (if not years) in the future.

So as I’m writing this in mid-September, it’s hard to believe that in the time it takes for our October issue to be printed and shipped, the 2023 Healthcare Design Conference + Expo will soon be upon us and this magazine in your hands on-site at the show.

At least I hope you’ll join us there. After all, it’s hard to resist the pull of New Orleans, not to mention the chance to catch up with a few thousand industry friends and colleagues.

2023 HCD Forum was a success

Right now, I’m feeling the high of just that, as our team recently returned from our HCD Forum in Savannah, Ga. Forum is a much smaller-scale event, with 100 or so invited attendees who are senior-level leaders from firms as well as healthcare organizations.

However, over the course of about two and a half days, we tackle a whole lot. Attendees immerse themselves in small-group activities and deep-thinking discussions as well as sessions that fall on the periphery of healthcare design but challenge new perspectives in this field.

But, most of all, Forum provides the opportunity to be together—as an industry. And that feels good, right?

Regardless of event, this is an industry that thrives when its members break down silos between disciplines and companies and unite in the shared mission of improving the healthcare built environment.

Top-of-mind topics in healthcare design industry

And as Forum proved, there’s a lot to discuss right now.

Topics of advanced technology, particularly artificial intelligence; health equity and access to care; and what it means to truly create a resilient and flexible facility drove thoughtful conversations. And those weren’t only around the issues themselves but the role design—and all of you—will play in how they’re managed going forward.

So as we prepare to next head into the HCD Conference, I’m excited to continue the conversations. You’ll find all those issues, and lots more, packed into our conference program of more than 100 sessions led by around 400 industry members. Talk about perspective.

Add to that numerous networking opportunities, facility tours of local healthcare projects, and our biggest expo yet full of exhibitors and service providers displaying products specialized for what you do.

So as much as I look forward to being there with many of you, I’m also anticipating the joy of the “after effect,” when I head back to the office feeling inspired to hit the ground running toward a new year of healthcare design.

In the meantime, check out our schedule of events and conference program at And be sure to say hi in New Orleans.

The HCD 10: The MetroHealth System, Outstanding Organization

The MetroHealth System, Cleveland

Founded in 1837, The MetroHealth System is a safety-net provider operating five hospitals, four emergency departments, and 20 health centers in and around Cleveland. It serves more than 300,000 patients and employs more than 8,000 doctors, nurses, and other staff members.

MetroHealth is also an academic medical center in partnership with Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine and home to a Level 1 trauma center as well as Ohio’s only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center.

In October 2022, MetroHealth completed its replacement acute care hospital, The Glick Center. (For an in-depth profile on the project, read here.)

The project serves as the anchor to a $1 billion investment by the organization into its main campus and the surrounding community, an economically challenged, highly diverse area on Cleveland’s west side. In fact, it set into motion a series of initiatives designed to support MetroHealth’s burgeoning mission to go beyond healthcare to improve the health and lives of its patients and community.

That’s meant supporting its neighbors in numerous ways, from creating a new transit line with bus stops on its main campus and other locations, providing health and science curriculum in a high school located inside the hospital, and building affordable housing on-site for qualified community members.

Meanwhile, as part of the construction of the Glick Center, MetroHealth saw great opportunity in the campus itself. Once the old hospital is demolished, the site will boast significant green space to further connect it to surrounding neighbors and deliver much-needed parkland to the dense, urban location.

Inside the new hospital, the city itself is reflected via a robust art program featuring local artists, a performance area for theater and dance, and a color palette inspired by murals and other public art pieces in nearby neighborhoods to establish a truly welcoming environment.

And to make sure this investment will serve the community for years to come, MetroHealth embraced the idea of flexibility and adaptability well beyond industry best practice, integrating a “process neutral.” This approach utilizes universal design throughout its 312 patient rooms as well as the interventional platform, in addition to modular, movable components throughout, to ensure the hospital can change to suit caregivers’ needs day to day, and year to year.

Additionally, within the past year, the system opened projects including a new facility for advanced cellular immunotherapies. The project makes MetroHealth the first safety-net hospital in the U.S. to bring such next-generation cancer treatments to patients. Additionally, the organization opened the 112-bed MetroHealth Cleveland Heights Behavioral Health Hospital that consolidates services for adult, geriatric, and adolescent patients and fills a critical need for metal health care in that community.

These recent efforts, and many that have come before them, showcase a health system that’s redefining itself through an evolution in the way it delivers care and the spaces in which that care takes place, serving the specific needs of its community members and establishing the system as a model for all.

Click here for more on all the 2023 HCD 10 winners.


The HCD 10: Damian Huneycutt, Team MVP

Damian Huneycutt, healthcare client leader, principal, DLR Group (Charlotte, N.C.)

When DLR Group signed on to provide architectural design services for the Atrium Health Pineville Phase III bed tower project, the owner presented the firm with a unique requirement: to deliver at least 25 percent of the project via prefabrication.

Damian Huneycutt immediately stepped in to lead the effort. That started with working directly with a committee of project team partners to identify the prefabricated design elements that would be integrated, including bathroom pods and patient room headwalls and footwalls.

But the layers of prefabrication went much deeper and covered exterior wall panels, multitrade corridor MEP racks, air-handling units, demountable partitions, modular nurses’ stations, in-wall rough ins, and electrical panels.

To ensure successful delivery of the prefabricated components, Huneycutt visited the manufacturing facilities during the design and construction process and sought better solutions where he saw opportunity. For example, he witnessed the exterior acrylic wall panels being fabricated and reviewed the shop drawings and submittals for final construction.

Additionally, he viewed and inspected the first complete toilet pod being produced for conformity. For headwalls and footwalls, Huneycutt reviewed them in the factory to assess integrated dialysis boxes, working with the builders to modify the details around the box to ensure acoustical privacy between occupants on each side of the partition.

This project was one of four other projects simultaneously in design in Atrium Health’s Strategic Facility Master Plan (SFMP). The plan also integrated Huneycutt as a valuable player on the SFMP Design Committee that developed new design standards, nursing concepts, and the patient room of the future.

The Atrium Health Pineville Phase III bed tower project houses 108 patient rooms of the 1,000 to be built enterprise wide. The committee ensured consistency across all new Atrium Health facilities by creating a roadmap for renovations of existing patient wings, with Huneycutt key to implementing prefabrication across all.

Once the bed tower project was complete, Huneycutt went on to share his expertise with the healthcare design community via industry events to highlight the benefits prefabrication can yield while also offering valuable transparency about the challenges he encountered.

Click here for more on all the 2023 HCD 10 winners.

The HCD 10: Corey Gaarde, Building Professional

Corey Gaarde, principal, project executive, IMEG (Naperville, Ill.)

As a principal and project executive at IMEG, Corey Gaarde leads the Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) Advisory Services team and strategically aligns HIT to the collaborative design process.

With 20-plus years of experience in HIT, his work focuses on strategic planning and execution of advanced solutions pertaining to facility design and transformation, clinical collaboration and communication, patient/family engagement, clinical workflow, telemedicine, and medical device integration.

His goal is to ensure that the voices of patients, their families, and care team members are heard so that HIT meets their experiential needs and the owner’s goals.

In his role, Gaarde is known for pushing the traditional design process by encouraging clients to consider what might be possible through HIT while aligning to the overall design schedule and budget.

For example, he recently worked with a pediatrics campus to map the journey of a patient, the family, and care team members and envision a multitude of HIT applications for the proposed new facilities. Ideas included using artificial intelligence (AI) and mixed reality to inform, soothe, and entertain pediatric patients and their families and improve their experience via technology.

Possible applications included outfitting patients with virtual reality goggles so they can virtually step into their body and point out how and where they feel symptoms. Another idea is using smart glasses to map a patient’s route to his or her room and personalize the artwork they “see” on the lobby walls along the way.

Overall, Gaarde helps clients integrate “what ifs” into the design early on, so the facility’s technology is future-ready when it opens.

He’s also passionate about improving guidelines for the design and construction of healthcare facilities, which led to his recent involvement with The Center for Health Design’s Environmental Standards Council.

Meanwhile, he also shares his knowledge during conference presentations, blog posts, podcast appearances, and co-authoring IMEG executive guides, including “Enhancing the Quadruple Aim through Data-Driven Decisions in the Built Environment.”

His participation with associations—from the Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)—further demonstrates his commitment to transforming the patient, family, and caregiver experience by leveraging technology by design.

Click here for more on all the 2023 HCD 10 winners.



The HCD 10: Jeri Brittin, Researcher

Jeri Brittin, PhD, director, social and behavioral sciences, HDR (Boise, Idaho)

With a background in interior design and mathematics as well as doctoral training in health promotion and disease prevention research, Jeri Brittin leads a transdisciplinary team of social and behavioral scientists at HDR.

Their work informs planning and design decision-making to promote desirable behavioral and health-related outcomes among populations of people in buildings, organizations, and communities.

Within the healthcare sector specifically, Brittin supports healthcare design research with a high degree of scientific integrity that asks clear questions, presents methodologies and findings transparently, uses appropriate analysis, produces actionable insights, and provides a credible foundation for further work in the field.

For example, her team developed the HDR CARE (Clinical Affordance Related to the Environment) Scale, which identifies connections between design factors and behavior, in this case operationalized as the degree of ease or difficulty of performing daily caregiving tasks in the inpatient environment.

Her recent projects include a community-wide study for the Mat-Su Health Foundation in Alaska to understand local variations in health status and social needs, and to gain input for a new community health campus planned to address multiple social determinants of health.

Brittin also recently led a mixed-method post-occupancy evaluation at the Sheltering Arms Institute, a destination rehabilitation facility in Richmond, Va., to assess how the environment provides support for a community of patients with spinal cord and brain injury and the professionals who work with them.

Beyond healthcare, Brittin serves the greater public health, too, through projects such as a large study to guide strategic planning for a major park in New York City. Her team has also developed the Planning and Analysis of Transportation and Health (PATHS) Framework for integration of public health and transportation expertise in a viable model of connections between transportation interventions, effects on health determinants, and more distal effects on population health outcomes.

She continues to share her thinking and work with the industry at large through publications and frequent presentations, and through service on committees focused on design and health.

Click here for more on all the 2023 HCD 10 winners.


The HCD 10: Zhipeng Lu, Educator

Zhipeng Lu, PhD, associate director, Center for Health Systems & Design, and Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas)

Zhipeng Lu led the first-year Master of Architecture healthcare design studio at Texas A&M University, where he’s known for his advocacy of evidence-based design as well as offering students opportunities to collaborate with users, firms, hospitals, and health systems.

Together, these efforts prepare students for real-world experiences and teach them the skills necessary to manage projects. Meanwhile, his large-scale undergraduate course engages students from various majors in health environment design and research, thereby amplifying the impact of healthcare design education.

Over the past year at Texas A&M, Lu’s contributions include his launch of a course in design for aging, in which students obtain invaluable hands-on experience via classes held at long-term care communities, allowing direct interactions with both residents and managers.

Further enriching the curriculum, Lu incorporated social and behavioral factors in design education, which deepened students’ comprehension of how environments influence people’s physical, social, and mental health while honing their design skills.

Lu also engaged students in a Facility Guidelines Institute workshop that reimagined the operating room environment, allowing students to collaborate with nurses, doctors, and design practitioners and participate in the writing of a white paper and peer-reviewed paper.

Additionally, Lu served on the steering committee of the 2022 International Union of Architects (UIA) Year of Design for Health. In this capacity, he orchestrated multiple events and spearheaded an international student competition.

Representing the U.S. as an official member of the UIA Public Health Group over the past decade, Lu has helped establish numerous avenues for knowledge exchange and professional growth at a global level, too.

Lu’s dedication to healthcare design education and his efforts in creating opportunities for young architects have significantly influenced and advanced the field, not only benefitting his students and the industry but healthcare design and research broadly.

Click here for more on all the 2023 HCD 10 winners.