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Design re-use: critical application of healthcare building design evidence

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journal contribution
posted on 12.09.2018, 10:39 by Nadeeshani Wanigarathna, F. Sherratt, Andrew Price, Simon Austin
Purpose: Re-use of good design solutions is a key source of evidence and knowledge in the design of healthcare buildings. However, due to the unique nature of healthcare built environments, critical application of this evidence is of paramount important. This research investigated the features of such critical application, and identified the aspects that need to be considered during the re-use of good designs. Design/methodology/approach: Data from three case studies of hospital designs in the UK were used to explore the processes behind the adaption and re-use of design solutions during the design of healthcare buildings. Data were thematically analysed to distinguish the aspects that should be carefully compared and contrasted during design re-use. Findings: Existing designs of healthcare buildings should be captured and evaluated along with: patient demographics, care models of the hospital, other local departmental needs, and facility operational aspects in order to ensure the effectiveness of re-use. In addition, properly introducing the design to the users is also a part of successful design re-use. Practical implications: This research provides details of how healthcare built environment designs are embedded in project-unique circumstances. The results could therefore be used to develop meaningful and informative evaluation mechanisms for new and re-used healthcare building design features. Originality/value: This research extends the understanding of critical application of healthcare design evidence, by explaining how healthcare design solutions should be evaluated during the design process. Limitations: The findings of this research was integrated into a framework to support healthcare designers on effective re-use of good designs. This data driven framework could be validated further with design practitioners. Further, this research relied on memory recall of the interviewees and the accuracy and completeness of documentary records.


The work was supported by ESPRC IMCRC under grant [EP/E002323/1] and under grant EPSRC HaCIRIC [EP/D039614/1 and EP/I029788/1].



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management


WANIGARATHNA, N. ... et al., 2019. Design re-use: critical application of healthcare building design evidence. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 26 (3), pp.350-366.


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This paper was published in the journal Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management and the definitive published version is available at