HDR Wins Evidence-Based Design Touchstone Award

The Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation (VCBR) has been awarded The Center for Health Design’s 2017 Silver Level Evidence-Based Design (EBD) Touchstone Award. VCBR is one of 15 facilities of The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS).

In 2013, VCBR selected HDR to design an expansion and renovation of its confined facility to support improvement in resident rehabilitation through a multi-tiered environment that allows increasing responsibility and self-management. Our design was supported by an ongoing research study focused on the hypothesis that the expansion’s architectural design will be associated with improved outcomes for residents (formerly incarcerated individuals) both while committed and after release.

“When design is based on learnings gleaned from evidence, including measured outcomes specific to program and facility performance, we can see real progress in an architectural design’s ability to influence those outcomes,” said Jeri Brittin, Director of Research at HDR. “Recognition from the Center for Health Design with the Touchstone award affirms our efforts in applying research to the design process, and we are honored to receive this award.”

The Touchstone award recognizes the use of an evidence-based design process in the pursuit of increasing value, improving outcomes and engaging stakeholders. Awards were presented to projects that showed exemplary achievement across the touchstones of the EBD process: collaboration, evaluation and sharing.

HDR’s work with VCBR was chosen because it demonstrated interdisciplinary team and stakeholder education, engagement and development; research was found, evaluated and applied to link design elements to outcomes and measurements of results; and the EBD process was applied and knowledge gained was disseminated, captured and holds potential for application to future projects.

“As a firm, we aim to push boundaries to achieve greater outcomes. Partnering with The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and connecting their goals with the expertise of HDR’s internal research team encouraged innovative problem-solving that will be reflected in occupant outcomes,” said Jason Beshore, Health Principal at HDR. “We’re truly honored to receive this recognition from CHD.”

The multi-disciplinary team worked together to align architectural planning intentions with the research hypotheses. The new transitional housing unit will provide spaces intended to support learning of basic life skills and productive socialization.

About HDR

For more than a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans 10,000 employees, in more than 225 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovativesolutions defined our past and drives our future.