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2019 CORE Recipients

2019 EDRA CORE Recipients

Sparking innovation and promoting best practice in environmental design

The Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the Certificate of Research Excellence (CORE) for 2019. CORE recognizes rigorous, valuable, and impactful practice-based research that sparks innovation and promotes best practice in environmental design.

The credibility of academic research is typically judged on the basis of well-established protocols and peer-review processes – but what constitutes research quality in the context of the practice of environmental design? The tools used to assess academic research do not easily translate to practice-based research, a challenge for researchers and practitioners alike. In response, EDRA developed CORE to serve as a measuring stick to assess the value of research that goes beyond rigor alone.

EDRA CORE’s unique evaluation framework identifies practice-based environmental design research that is not only rigorous, but also offers measurable value, meets industry challenges, and advances design thinking; recognizes the importance of research in practice; provides a compass to guide designers, researchers, organizations, and manufacturers; and builds on EDRA’s tradition of inquiry, reflection, and collaboration and its commitment to innovation.

The following practice-based design research projects met the CORE criteria and were selected for recognition, based on the review of a cross-disciplinary panel of reviewers consisting of academic researchers, practice-based researchers, designers, and industry thought leaders. The CORE recipients have been recognized during EDRA50, May 22-26, 2019, in Brooklyn, New York.

Download the 2019 EDRA CORE Recipient Project Profiles to read more about each study.

Investigating the Impact of Multisensory Environments for People with Dementia

University of Florida, Department of Veteran’s Affairs, and Gresham Smith
Study TeamLesa Lorusso, Sheila Bosch, Nam-kyu Park, Ron Shorr, I. Maggie Freytes, Sherry Ahrentzen, and Maureen Conroy

There is a critical need for research investigating non-pharmacological behavior interventions for people with dementia. The purpose of this study was to improve the evidence-base by investigating staff perceptions of multisensory environments designs and investigating MSE impact on behavior to improve quality of care.

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Sensory Wellbeing for Adolescents with Developmental Disorders: Creating (and Testing) a Sensory Wellbeing Hub

HKS, ASID, Lane Tech College Prep High School, Lane Tech Alumni AssociationUniversity of Michigan, Ouva, and Mohawk
Study Team –  Giyoung Park, Upali Nanda, Jonathan Essary, Lisa Adams, Melissa Hoelting, and Sean Ahlquist

This study aimed to create and test the efficacy of a sensory wellbeing hub for students with developmental disabilities in a public high school. Triangulating multiple datasets over an academic year, this study identified most utilized interventions and usage patterns by students with vs. without autism and by sensory profiles.
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Life Building Exchange: Investigating the Intersection of Pro-Environmental Behavior, Place Meaning, and High-Performance Design

Kriegh Architecture Studios, The American Institute of Architects, The Upjohn Research InitiativeUniversity of Washington Campus Sustainability Fund and the College of Built Environments
Study Team –  Julia Ann Kriegh PhD AIA, with contributions from Lynne C. Manzo PhD, Elizabeth Sanders PhD, and Joel Loveland

A mixed methods study (treatment, surveys, and qualitative interviews) was employed to understand energy use for two comparison communities. Data suggest that people’s values and place meanings, environmental cues, and reciprocal relationships found in high-performance buildings and behaviors are important factors in addressing climate change.
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Investing in Our Future: The Impact of School Modernization

Perkins Eastman, District of Columbia Public Schools, and J+J Flooring Group
Study TeamHeather Jauregui, Katie Herber, and Emily Chmielewski

This study explored the impact of facility modernization on Indoor Environmental Quality, occupant satisfaction, and student and faculty performance in nine schools in the same district. The results indicate significant improvements in the modernized schools and supports the continued funding of modernization efforts for existing building stock.
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Good Design Is Good for Loyalty: Findings and Implications from a Multi-Hospital Inpatient Room Post-Occupancy Evaluation

Gensler and Cleveland Clinic
Study TeamTravis Tyson, James Crispino, Michelle Gandolf, and Nicholas Watkins

A survey of 664 medical surgical inpatients from 12 hospitals identified inpatients’ meaningful experiences and measured how well a new facility met these experiences. An adaptable patient room emerged as a crucial design characteristic with implications for patient loyalty. Findings are informing branding and design standards.


Designing for Extremes: Using Techno-Ethnography and Immersive Empathy to Shape Inclusive Architecture

HGA and University of Virginia
Study TeamAmin Mojtahedi, d'Andre Willis, Bryan Cannon, Abi Kallushi, and Caroline Bertier West

The purpose of the study was to redefine the role of University of Virginia’s Student Activities Building on campus through the process of co-creating its architecture. The process included coupling ethnographic research with digital spatial mapping and using it in ideation. The outcome included elevating SAB from a performance-based building to a social-cultural hub on campus. The value of the study was in the insights gained from extreme users boosting architecture's inclusivity.

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Process-Led ICU Design: Applying Discrete-Event Simulation and Process Improvement to Measure ICU Design Performance

EwingCole and Binghamton University Systems Science & Industrial Engineering and Watson Institute for Systems Excellence
Study Team – Alice Gittler, Farouq Halawa, Sreenath Chalil Madathil, and Mohammad Khasawneh

This project applied discrete-event simulation modeling with spatial configuration analysis during the design of three intensive care units to measure performance with respect to workflow efficiencies and opportunities to increase time in direct patient care activities.
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New Parkland Hospital Facility Evaluation

Blue Cottage Consulting, Corgan, HDR, Herman Miller Healthcare, Mitchell/focusEGD, and Parkland Health & Hospital System   
Study Team –  Jeri Brittin, Jackline Opollo, Lonnie Roy, Renae Rich, Robert Agosta, Doug Bazuin, Kaitlin Blakemore, Leticia Blea, Leslie Echols, Gena English, Kathy Harper, Francesqca Jimenez, Tina Larsen, Cyndi McCullough, Lori McGilberry, Kathy Okland, Susan Partridge, Susan Puumala, Minakshi Raj, and Juliet Rogers

This rigorous, multi-method evaluation provided a thorough perspective of the complex effects of design decisions on building performance and occupant outcomes. Findings include the impacts of the new inpatient unit design on patients and staff, and contribute to the body of evidence informing future healthcare facility design across the industry.

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The Impact of Lighting, Noise, and Design on a NICU Environment

HGA, GBBN, Smith Hager Bajo, S&ME, Affiliated Engineers, Inc, THP Limited, and Turner Construction
Study Team –  Terri Zborowsky, Jennifer Christmann, Andrea Wilkerson, Kara Freihoefer, and Rebecca Sanders

This research project involved a build-out of a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Research tools were used to inform design decisions when moving from multi-bed NICU rooms (up to 6 babies in one room) to private rooms. Following the completion of the design process, a pre/post-occupancy study was completed so this knowledge could be disseminated.

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Evaluation of New Nebraska Community Hospital Facilities

HDR, Great Plains Health, and Fremont Health
Study Team –  Francesqca Jimenez, MS, Renae Rich, MS, Susan Puumala, PhD, Susan McDevitt, MSN, ARNP, Lori Schoenholz, RN, MSN, Melinda Kentfield, RN, MSAS, Christine Hurst, PhD, and Jeri Brittin, PhD

This study investigated differences in nurse and patient outcomes after a move to a decentralized nursing model at two hospitals. Mixed methods were used to assess differences. Staff felt that the changes helped patients, but diminished collaboration. No difference in change management were found between sites. Patient outcome results were mixed.

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Evaluation of Higher Education Science Laboratory Learning Environments

HDR, Bellevue University, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Study Team Francesqca Jimenez, MS, Renae Rich, MS, Susan Puumala, PhD, and Jeri Brittin, PhD

This study was conducted to assess how design decisions for STEM laboratory classroom environments at two Midwest universities support student learning experience, including engagement and motivation. Instructor experience was also assessed to understand how lab classroom environment facilitates the development of curricula and effective pedagogy.

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2019 EDRA CORE reviewers

Gowri Betrabet Gulwadi, PhD, LEED AP 
Professor, Interior Design, University of Northern Iowa

Sheila F. Cahnman, FAIA, FACHA, LEED AP
President, JumpGarden Consulting LLC

Fiona de Vos, PhD 
Founder and Owner, Studio dVO

Jennifer Gardner
Program Manager, Gehl Institute

Hessam Ghamari, PhD, LEED Green Associate
Assistant Professor, California State University Northridge (CSUN)

Jingfen Guo
Assistant Professor, University of Central Oklahoma

Sharmin Kader, PhD
Research Associate, TreanorHL

Shireen Kanakri, PhD
Assistant Professor & Graduate Advisor Director of Health Environmental Design Research Lab (HEDR)

Migette L. Kaup, PhD, EDAC, NCIDQ (IDEC, ASID, IIDA)
Professor, Kansas State University

Diana Nicholas, NCIDQ, AIA, LEED GA, NCARB
Assistant Professor and Program Director MS Design Research, Drexel University

Kimari Phillips, MA, EDAC
Senior Research Analyst, LPA, Inc.

Traci Rose Rider, PhD, LEED AP
Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, North Carolina State University

Haroon Sattar, NCIDQ, LEED AP
Associate Professor, University of Central Missouri

Zhe Wang, PhD
Henan University, Center for Senior Healthcare

Sue Weidemann, PhD
Visiting Professor, Department of Architecture & The Center for Inclusive Design, University at Buffalo