Implementation of evidence-based design (EBD) by non-healthcare design practitioners

Caren S. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Evidence-based design (EBD) is an innovation to the normative design process for practitioners who strive to base design solutions on measurable outcomes. Published information about EBD-its purpose, process, and outcomes springs primarily from healthcare design sources. Little is known about the adoption of an EBD-approach by practitioners of other building types (offices, schools) or their degree of engagement with EBD. This study examined non-healthcare focused design practitioners' current 1) understanding of EBD, 2) degree of implementation of EBD, and 3) interest in learning more about EBD as determined from an exploratory study via interviews of 10 multidisciplinary firms' leaders. Findings indicated that these firms practiced normative design, having little knowledge of or engagement with EBD. To help identify reasons for this delay towards EBD, a comparative analysis of EBD-approaches in books published for design practitioners was conducted. It revealed a broad range of approaches, limited timelines for implementation, and promotion of practitioner/researcher collaborations. Additional resources/tools are needed by the non-healthcare focused design practitioners to support implementation of an EBD-approach into their normative design process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-180
Number of pages16
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Archnet-IJAR, International Journal of Architectural Research.


  • Design practitioner
  • Evidence-based design (EBD)
  • Measurable outcomes
  • Non-healthcare design
  • Normative design


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