Inspirations and Innovations

Designing for Dignity in Behavioral Healthcare Settings

Designing for Dignity in Behavioral Healthcare Settings

Designing a mental health facility requires special considerations to protect the safety and dignity of patients in a fragile psychiatric state, and ensure the security of staff. Previously, designs restricted freedom and created institutional atmospheres focused on safety, further stigmatizing patients. Today, we recognize that providing both safety and dignity are not only possible, but beneficial to the healing process.

Connection to Nature

Natural light and the ability to view exterior environments has been shown to advance healing and recovery. Clerestory windows of shatterproof glass admit light and access to nature, but shield patients from passersby, with embedded shades for each patient’s control of their environment. Natural light is welcomed deeper into adjoining rooms via glazed openings.

Residential Atmosphere

Making a space feel less institutional reduces anxiety and contributes to a comfortable, homelike impression. Thoughtful color and material choices including soft palettes of earthy beiges, blues, and greens and natural materials such as wood generate a calming, soothing effect. Soft … Read More

The New Academic Home on Campus

The New Academic Home on Campus

New approaches to learning at the university level has forever transformed the architecture of the traditional college library. Unlike libraries of old that were quiet and tranquil, the modern college library is a place for “content creation” for students to … Read More

Improving Indoor Air Quality Enhances Student Performance

Improving Indoor Air Quality Enhances Student Performance

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that approximately 50 percent of schools have poor indoor air quality (IAQ), mostly due to the age and poor condition of school buildings. The EPA promotes adopting IAQ best practices to create … Read More

No Need To Reinvent The Wheel For Green Features

No Need To Reinvent The Wheel For Green Features

Techniques Allow Existing Buildings To Capture Benefits

We have all seen new buildings that were designed with sustainable technologies. While these buildings are exciting and groundbreaking, they are often not a reality for clients who have budget constraints and must … Read More

Streamlining the Development Process

Streamlining the Development Process

The old adage that “time is money” is particularly true when undertaking the permitting process for new development. Developers who are moving from low-density residential to multifamily or mixed-use may not be familiar with the processes for site plan approval … Read More

A Call to Action on Sea Level Rise

A Call to Action on Sea Level Rise

by Dennis Carlberg, Emily Keys Innes and Brian Swett

Dec 01, 2016

Two recent reports from ULI Boston/New England, “Advancing Resiliency in East Boston” and “Developing Resilience: Living with Water Strategies for … Read More