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Research Journal Vol. 09.01

This issue of Perkins+Will Research Journal includes four articles focusing on different research topics, including building envelope-integrated thermal actuators, a wellness approach for designing healthcare environments, design of emergency rooms that supports behavioral health, and methods for achieving Passive House Standard in school buildings.

“Natural Harmony: Designing with Thermal Actuators” discusses prototype building and an experimental study of a novel building envelope-integrated system that responds to environmental conditions. The system includes thermal-actuating pistons, and the prototype was constructed using laser cutting, 3D printing and metalworking. Its performance was evaluated using sensors, where loggers were used to monitor temperature in a skylight application. The results indicate that this system shows a promise for controlling ventilation, daylight and heat gain in a semi-passive approach.

“Patient-Population Based Design: A Wellness Approach for Designing Healthcare Environments” considers how wellness can be one of the driving considerations in the design of healthcare facilities. The article provides a literature review, and outlines a needs assessment matrix as a practical tool for design professionals. The matrix has been applied in a case study, and the article discusses redesign of a clinic for a specific patient population.

“A protectED Room: Design of Responsive and Acuity Adaptable Behavioral Health Room for Emergency Departments” presents methods for designing emergency department rooms that support behavioral health services. The research included a qualitative study, literature review, historical review of behavioral health facilities, observational study of existing facilities, and design of a new model for emergency rooms that addresses patients’ medical and behavioral health needs.

“Comparing and Adapting Pitt River School to the Passive House Standard” discusses a recently built school building as a case study. The article analyzes target metrics associated with the Passive House requirements, characteristics of this school project, and design changes that would need to be implemented to achieve the standard. Specifically, overlap of BIM and Passive House energy modeling process are presented, as well as the impact of thermal bridging and building envelope components.

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