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Webinar: Mental and Behavioral Health Facilities: Critical Design Issues

When: February 9, 2017
Time: 11:00am Pacific
Price: $65 Individual View/$150 Group View

1 unit EDAC 
1 unit AIA 

Forms available for download during webinar.


This webinar is free to our Affiliate+ members.
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This presentation describes a study that identified features in the physical environment that impact staff and patients in psychiatric environments and a research tool that was developed to evaluate the design of mental and behavioral health facilities. Pursuant to a broad literature review, researchers conducted 19 interviews with psychiatric staff, facility administrators and architects. Interview data was analyzed using a highly structured qualitative data analysis process. Seventeen topics were addressed, ranging from the importance of a deinstitutionalized environment to social interaction and autonomy. The interviewees reinforced the controversy that exists when a deinstitutionalized environment results in diminished patient and staff safety. Respondents tended to support open nurse stations versus enclosed stations. Support for access to nature and the provision of an aesthetic environment was strong. Most interviewees asserted that private rooms were highly desirable because lower room density reduces the institutional character of a unit. Responses of interviewees illustrate current opinion regarding best practice in the design of psychiatric facilities. 


Location Information

Thursday, February 9, 2017 - ONLINE


Learning Objectives

  • Become acquainted with the body of literature that addresses research and design regarding mental and behavioral health facilities.
  • Understand the nature of qualitative assessment tools associated with gathering data during the design process.
  • Cite 17 guidelines regarding the design of mental and behavioral health issues.
  • Consider the core issues around the debate concerning private versus shared patient rooms and open versus closed nurse stations.


Presenting Faculty

Mardelle McCuskey Shepley, FAIA, Professor, Cornell University
Dr. Mardelle McCuskey Shepley, B.A., M.Arch., M.A., D.Arch., is a professor in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis and associate director of the Institute for Healthy Futures at Cornell University. She serves on the graduate faculty in the Cornell University Department of Architecture. Mardelle is a fellow in the American Institute of Architects and the American College of Healthcare Architects. She is LEED and EDAC certified. Dr. Shepley has authored/co-authored six books, including Healthcare Environments for Children and their Families (1998), A Practitioner’s Guide to Evidence-based Design (2008), Design for Critical Care (2009), Health Facility Evaluation for Design Practitioners (2010) and Design for Pediatric and Neonatal Critical Care (2014). Her most recent book, Design for Mental and Behavioral Health will be available in spring 2017. To enhance the link between research and practice, Dr. Shepley has worked in professional practice, full-time and part-time, for 25 years. She is founder of ART+Science, design research consultants.