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Our EDAC Committee: Looking Back and Moving Forward

It has been eight years since Parkin began to formally implement evidence-based design (EBD) principles into our design strategies and build a team that is accredited by The Center for Health Design. This team has helped Parkin become an industry leader in healthcare and rehabilitation facility design and we’re thrilled to celebrate some of these achievements.

Evidence-based design

EBD is a purposeful design approach that integrates the best available research and evidence to build therapeutic spaces that promote healthier outcomes for patients, support staff, and visitors. As the term suggests, design decisions for new hospitals, healthcare facilities, and other rehabilitation centres, are guided by this data to create buildings that not only improve user experience, but can also play a role in reducing hazards like falls and infection spread.


Looking back

As with all research, EBD is constantly evolving and looking for ways to improve. Our team meets monthly with representatives from our offices in Ottawa, Vancouver, and Toronto to ensure that Parkin is at the forefront of developing effective tools for implementing evidence-based design in our projects.

The committee initially established a list of standard EBD practices, which are currently being piloted across all three offices. We also launched an internal research database that can be shared across our teams in each city. After all, each design element requires thorough and thoughtful consideration for how it will fit into the complex spectrum of care needs, with something as simple as colour playing a major role in improving user experience and therapeutic outcomes.

Parkin’s EDAC committee has been partnering in multiple studies, including supporting the post-occupancy evaluation (POE) study executed by Methologica. Results of the study are included in a which can be found on Methologica’s website.

More recently, Parkin delivered an innovative design for the 30,000 SF expansion at Hamilton, Ontario’s, Juravinski Hospital’s stem-cell therapy unit. EBD guided our designs of both in-patient bedrooms and lounge areas for out-patients, in order to deliver a healing environment that aims to reduce stress for patients, support staff, and visitors.

Our 2020 vision

By its nature, EBD is an ever-evolving process. Every project brings a new understanding of design best practices and informs our strategies for future projects. By exploring client goals and objectives, while applying our EBD checklist and informed best-practice policies, we continue to expand our understanding of user experience. This year, we plan to continue sharing what we are learning, both within our firm and to architects and designers in the industry. We have submitted abstracts to present the Cornell wayfinding study, and are looking forward to presenting it with Saleh Kalantari (Assistant professor, Cornell University) at the in London, UK.


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