Good design: the fundamentals

Outline

We all use the built environment – buildings, streets, parks and public spaces – every day.

If design and management is done well, places can be treasured. If not, they can be alienating and dysfunctional.

This essay from the Design Council Cabe archive was written by former CEO Richard Simmons. Still as relevant today as when it was first published, this guide convincingly argues why architecture and urban design are fundamental cultural assets.

Recommended by:

Rachael Bernstone of Sounds Like Design

The impact of office design on business performance, CABE, 2005

Outline

This study examines the ways in which office accommodation can create economic and social value for businesses.

Commissioned by CABE and the BCO, it reviews the academic and scientific literature that has attempted to assess the relationship between workplace design and business performance over the last century.

it includes:

  • The results of research into the relationship between workplace design and business performance.

  • A guide to our research methods and the academic sources we reviewed.

Recommended by: 

Rachael Bernstone of Sounds Like Design

Health and wellbeing in homes, UKGBC, 016

Outline

Our home, both the location and the physical building itself, influences almost every aspect of our lives – from how well we sleep, to how often we see friends, to how safe and secure we feel. If we want to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities, there can hardly be a more important place to start than the home: it is where most people spend most of their life.
This report is about beginning a concerted effort to shift the market towards a focus on the mental, social and physical health and wellbeing of the people who occupy the homes we build and retrofit. It is aimed at all those with a role in developing, designing, delivering or managing housing, and is focused on general needs homes in the UK housing sector. We aim to gather and distil the most compelling evidence and advice about building and neighbourhood design features which can enhance the health and wellbeing of residents.
The report also explores the ‘value’ case for action. Through a combination of a literature review, dialogue with housing providers and dedicated consumer research undertaken by one of our task group members, Saint-Gobain, we demonstrate that there is a compelling business case for the industry to focus on health and wellbeing in residential property.
Since the launch of the report, UKGBC has worked with Arup experts to produce three Technical Papers to provide more detailed guidance for project teams on specific issues related to health and wellbeing in homes.

Recommended by:

Rachael Bernstone of Sounds Like Design

Galaxy poll: The Benefits of Design, 2016

Outline

This online market research was conducted by Galaxy on behalf of the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia, among members of a permission based panel between Wednesday 24 June and Monday 29 June 2015.

Interviews were conducted among 2593 Australians aged 18-64 years across Australia. 500 interviews were conducted across each of the five states, to determine community attitudes and perceptions bout deign value.

Recommended by:

Rachael Bernstone of Sounds Like Design

Paying the Right Price for Energy Efficiency

Outline

New research from Melbourne School of Design finds that people in the ACT - where mandatory energy efficiency ratings have been in place for house sales and rentals for 10 years - are willing to pay more for energy efficient housing, making the case for a mandatory national rating system for existing homes.

This article was first published on Pursuit. Read the original article. The research paper is available only to subscribers via this link.

Recommended by:

Rachael Bernstone of Sounds Like Design.

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How Architects use research: case studies from practice, by RIBA

Outline

For architects, research can be a difficult concept to pin down and define. But what is clear is that research can be the intellectual fuel for the engine of innovation and growth in architects’ practices.

To develop a research culture in practice there are some key questions that need answering:

  • What research knowledge do architects need and how do they use it?

  • How does research bring value to architects’ practices and their clients?

  • When do architects undertake research for themselves and how do they connect with academics and other research specialists?

This short publication uses case studies to inspire architects’ to recognise the research they already do, and to integrate research activity as part of their business models so they can reap the benefits of the knowledge available to them.

Recommended by:

Naomi Stead and Sandra Kaji O’Grady, Deans of Monash and QUT architecture schools respectively, in their Dossier on research in large practices, Architecture Australia, July/August 2018.

How architects use research - RIBA

How architects use research - RIBA

Architects and research-based knowledge: A literature review, February 2014

Executive Summary

Part of a series of RIBA publications on research – Architects and Research – this desktop study, undertaken for the RIBA by the Research Information Network, looks at published academic research on information practices in architecture and the built environment. The study is intended to help the RIBA to refine its strategy for communicating research, but is also a useful resource for practices who may be wanting to, for example, encourage the sharing of knowledge between their staff members. It demonstrates the importance of understanding research cultures across the built environment sector for those, such as the RIBA, seeking to encourage closer relationships between researchers across practice and academia, and more effective knowledge transfer.

Recommended by:

Naomi Stead and Sandra Kaji O’Grady, Deans of Monash and QUT architecture schools respectively, in their Dossier on research in large practices, Architecture Australia, July/August 2018

 

The Naked Architect: a guide to commissioning an architect

Outline

Are you talking to clients who are not yet convinced about commissioning an architect?

The Naked Architect series takes viewers into the design and construct process via interviews with architects and clients, talking about the homes they’ve created together.

The Naked Architect is an initiative of Open House Melbourne, with support from the Architects Registration Board of Victoria, and in association with ArchiTeam. The series was launched in 2017 and continued in 2018 as part of the year-round program of Open House.

Recommended by:

Architeam 

 

 

 

Physical activity-related health and economic benefits of building walkable neighbourhoods: a modelled comparison between brownfield and greenfield developments

By Belén Zapata-Diomedi, Claire Boulangé, Billie Giles-Corti, Kath Phelan,Simon Washington,J. Lennert Veerman and Lucy Dubrelle Gunn

Abstract

Background

A consensus is emerging in the literature that urban form can impact health by either facilitating or deterring physical activity (PA). However, there is a lack of evidence measuring population health and the economic benefits relating to alternative urban forms. We examined the issue of housing people within two distinct types of urban development forms: a medium-density brownfield development in an established area with existing amenities (e.g. daily living destinations, transit), and a low-density suburban greenfield development. We predicted the health and economic benefits of a brownfield development compared with a greenfield development through their influence on PA.

Methods

We combined a new Walkability Planning Support System (Walkability PSS) with a quantitative health impact assessment model. We used the Walkability PSS to estimate the probability of residents’ transport walking, based on their exposure to urban form in the brownfield and greenfield developments. We developed the underlying algorithms of the Walkability PSS using multi-level multivariate logistic regression analysis based on self-reported data for transport walking from the Victorian Integrated Survey of Transport and Activity 2009–10 and objectively measured urban form in the developments. We derived the difference in transport walking minutes per week based on the probability of transport walking in each of the developments and the average transport walking time per week among those who reported any transport walking. We then used the well-established method of the proportional multi-cohort multi-state life table model to translate the difference in transport walking minutes per week into health and economic benefits.

Results

If adult residents living in the greenfield neighbourhood were instead exposed to the urban development form observed in a brownfield neighbourhood, the incidence and mortality of physical inactivity-related chronic diseases would decrease. Over the life course of the exposed population (21,000), we estimated 1600 health-adjusted life years gained and economic benefits of A$94 million.

Discussion

Our findings indicate that planning policies that create walkable neighbourhoods with access to shops, services and public transport will lead to substantial health and economic benefits associated with reduced incidence of physical inactivity related diseases and premature death.

 

Recommended by: 

An article in Domain: New research shows infill developmevnt is better for our health, but councils aren’t on board