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HGA Wins Two Research-Focused Touchstone Awards

Awards recognize successful Evidence-Based Design planning strategies.

HGA has won two Evidence-Based Design (EBD) Touchstone Awards, including a Gold Level for the 7 North Tower Medical Surgical Unit Build-out at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and a Silver Level for Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for University of Kentucky HealthCare in Lexington.

Froedtert 7 North Tower

The Froedtert 7 North Tower is a 36,000 square-foot, 24-bed decentralized Medical Surgical Unit Build-out on the seventh and eighth floors of the North Tower (above), the research team used a series of Lean tools that included critical-to-quality prioritization, peer-to-peer interviewing, staff and patient interviews, space-adjacency diagramming with user groups, and staff shadowing. From this data-driven process, research results guided design decisions.

As follow-up, the team used the same pre-design research tools at three-month, eight-month, and 12-month post-occupancy to confirm pre-planning predictions.

“The commitment of the research team to the continuous documentation of findings and sharing them internally and with the industry throughout the years is commendable,” noted the national panel of jurors representing healthcare, design, and academic professions.

The research team included Kurt Spiering, FAIA, Principal; Kara Freihoefer, PhD, CID, EDAC, LEED ID+C, Director of Research; Mark Bultman, Associate AIA, Healthcare Principal and Project Manager; Kiki Werkheiser, EDAC, CLSSGB, Work Process Specialist; Lori Magalen, Medical Planner; and Brent Peterson, PE, Lean Workflow Engineer.

Kentucky Children’s NICU

Designed by HGA of Minneapolis as Design Architect and GBBN of Lexington as Architect of Record, the 45,000 square-foot Kentucky Children’s Hospital NICU consists of renovation and in-fill construction, replacing an existing NICU with expanded patient and family spaces and caregiver resources.

The researchers conducted a multiple-method, pre- and post-occupancy evaluation of the NICU, evaluating the design features for perception of satisfaction and importance to the primary users of the space, staff, and parents of the babies. This study also evaluated the lighting conditions and acoustics. Findings supported the move to private family NICU rooms and a neighborhood configuration. The new NICU is quieter and the cycled lighting has had many positive effects.

“This new facility is a dream come true for our team,” said Dr. Scottie B. Day, MD, FAAP, Physician-in-Chief of Kentucky Children’s Hospital. “We partnered with doctors, nurses, and staff, as well as our patient-parent advisory group, to create a space where we can deliver advanced care to our most vulnerable patients.”

The research team included Kara Freihoefer, PhD, CID, EDAC, LEED ID+C, Director of Research; Rebecca Kleinbaum Sanders, AIA, NCARB, Healthcare Principal; Terri Zborowsky, PhD, Design Researcher; Jennifer Christmann, Former Director of Facilities Planning & Development at UK HealthCare; and Andrea Wilkerson, Lighting Engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

About the Awards

Sponsored by The Center for Health Design, the Evidence-Based Design Touchstone Awards acknowledge research in increasing value, improving outcomes, and engaging stakeholders.