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Why Evidence Based Design and EDAC are here to stay

By Debra Levin, The Center for Health Design, Concord, California, USA

‘EBD process fosters a collaborative process, bringing in the voices of multiple stakeholders and consultants involved in designing a facility

read, or the topic of a conference presentation you attended. And if you have been in the healthcare or healthcare design field long enough, you may have wondered if EBD, like so many that have come before it, is just the latest flavour-of-the-year of idea that the industry rallies around and then moves on to the next new thing. Or, if it might just be something you should pay a bit more attention to. It seems that the term evidence-based design is being used everywhere today. In the same way we once saw advertisements for ‘healing’ carpet and ‘healing’ wallpaper when the term ‘healing environments’ was the latest ‘it’ phrase, we are seeing evidence-based or the word ‘evidence’ attached to titles that begin to render the term itself, let alone the meaning behind it, insignificant. Yet, because it is based upon a growing number of relevant studies and has engaged a community of like-


y now you are likely to have heard the term Evidence Based Design (EBD), possibly mentioned in articles you’ve

minded individuals, evidence-based design has taken on a life of its own. Beyond the obvious commercial uses of the concept, evidence-based design has been embraced by the healthcare and design community as something to pay attention to. For many years now, scores of request for proposals from healthcare organizations have included a requirement for design firms to display an understanding of evidence-based design principles and to utilize the most current research in their decision making process. Though often healthcare facility owners did not have a full understanding of how this might be articulated in a project, they knew enough to understand that it was something of importance for the magnitude of the project they were about to embark on. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg where evidence-based design is concerned; it has yet to come even close to its eventual place in the permanent fabric of the healthcare and design industry.

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