2020 EDRA Awards: Three HDR Research Projects Recognized

The Environmental Design Research Association recently announced the recipients of the Certificate of Research Excellence for 2020 and the 22nd Annual Great Places Awards. Three HDR-led projects were selected for recognition this year.

EDRA CORE Recipients

The EDRA CORE awards recognize rigorous, valuable and impactful practice-based research that sparks innovation and promotes best practices in environmental design. The program intends to demonstrate the value of integrating research into projects.

HDR’s industry-leading research team submitted two winning projects:

Spero Academy: This mixed-methods study evaluated purposeful design of an educational facility for children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. Analysis of pre- and post-occupancy data from faculty and staff indicated improvements in environmental conditions, especially related to areas for student learning.

Advocate Aurora Health: This multimodal evaluation at 11 clinics addressed staff teamwork, perceived patient satisfaction and operational efficiency in separate patient corridor and shared patient-staff corridor clinic core module designs. Results were generally positive for the separate corridor design, but issues were identified, informing future clinic designs.

“The projects that received CORE recognition this year were very different; however, what they have in common is of the utmost importance: an unwavering design focus on improving human experience and outcomes, and an emphasis on actual measurement,” said Dr. Jeri Brittin, director of research at HDR. “This is how great design happens and how we keep learning and improving.”

EDRA Great Places Award Winner

The EDRA Great Places Awards recognize work that combines expertise in design, research, and practice, and contributes to the creation of dynamic, humane places that engage our attention and imagination. 

The New Parkland Hospital Facility Evaluation, also a recipient of the 2019 Center for Health Design Gold Touchstone Award, is a collaborative, multi-firm effort and received the high honour of EDRA's Great Places Award Honorable Mention this year. The evaluation deployed evidence-based principles to assess and enhance the patient- and family-centred care model and observe and record its impacts to further our knowledge in designing places for healthcare that truly make people better.

The project began with the idea that the physical environment of hospitals can contribute to patient outcomes, patient and staff experience, and quality of care in health care settings and that Post Occupancy Evaluation research can help in this,” jurors noted. “The study has been broadly disseminated and its impact well documented. It’s a great example of how evidence from research can lead to good design.”

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