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Today’s lab building by the numbers

Friday, 14 October 2016

Shepley Bulfinch undertook a 3-month long study where we examined science facilities from over a 100 colleges and universities across the country. We gathered data that details departmental usage, building efficiency and other key metrics that drive the design of science buildings. In particular, we tracked usage related to interdisciplinary research and STEM trends across higher education.

Key insights included:

  • Buildings are 37% larger while undergoing a 15% reduction in square footage per department.
  • There has been a 260% increase in the space allotted to dry labs. This dramatic increase represents new types of research driven by technology that does not require hoods and benches, including computational biology, computer science, and robotics.
  • Increased ...[more]

Metrics and the design of collaborative environments

Friday, 2 November 2012

A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education (“Scientific Discovery, Inspired by a Walk to the Restroom”) made the argument that locating key support facilities has a role in fostering collaborative research environments.

As a design researcher, whenever I read a piece like this that cites research without providing citations or references, I become concerned about the quality of the evidence.

I decided to do a little digging. Although I was unable to find a research study documenting a 50-foot rule (“collaboration drops to 10% when workers are more than 50 feet ...[more]

Healthcare facility evaluation by design practitioners

8 July 2011

Design and Health: 7th World Congress & Exhibition, Boston, MA

Angela Watson, AIA, Principal, Shepley Bulfinch
Mardelle Shepley, FAIA, Director, Center for Health Systems & Design

Affinity mapping: harnessing the wisdom of the crowd

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Last July we held a large-scale affinity mapping charrette as a way of gathering data about people’s day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. The affinity map proved to be a very effective tool for aggregating the collective wisdom of the crowd.

Collective intelligence in the digital realm is an idea that’s gained more traction in the past couple of years. Think of the crowdsourcing used to build the Linux operating system or Google’s search algorithms. What makes affinity mapping unique is its use as an analog tool to document collective intelligence. Even better, it creates a physical representation of the group’s collective thinking: the Post-It diagram.

The process of creating that physical artifact ...[more]

Design firm research on in-house projects

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

What are the benefits – and challenges – facing architecture firms seeking to advance knowledge-based design by conducting facility evaluations on their own projects? Angela Watson and Mardelle Shepley discuss the process for practitioner-focused facility evaluation (PFE) in the Design & Health Scientific Review section of the January 2011 issue of World Health Design.

In the article, Angela and Mardelle present a study conducted using different methods of practitioner-focused facility evaluation, drawing information from Shepley Bulfinch projects at Concord Hospital; Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care (including the ...[more]

Using sustainable design to create a healing environment

Monday, 1 February 2010

Shouldn’t the design of a healthcare facility begin with creating a healthy environment? That’s the argument Angela Watson makes in her article, “LEED by example: Using sustainable design to create a healing environment,” which appears in the January 2010 issue of Healthcare Design magazine. In the article, she discusses the process behind Concord Hospital’s 2008 expansion and renovation, and the hospital’s subsequent receipt of LEED certification, the first in northern New England to be so recognized.

Healthcare Design article

Healing by design in critical care

Monday, 14 December 2009

Principals Jennifer Aliber and Angela Watson discuss the creation of therapeutic environments in their contribution to the new book, Design for Critical Care: An Evidence-Based Approach by Kirk Hamilton and Mardelle Shepley. Jennifer and Angela discuss the impact of evidence-based design on patient safety and the quality of care in acute-care facilities.

The book was published by Architectural Press, an imprint of Elsevier, in September.

Book listing on Elsevier website

The impact of daylighting in ICUs on patients and staff

26 June 2009

Design and Health: 6th World Congress and Exhibition, Singapore

Angela Watson, Shepley Bulfinch
Mardelle Shepley, Center for Health Systems and Design