This issue of Perkins+Will Research Journal includes four articles that focus on different research topics, such as relationships between mental health and resilient design, obstructions in perception associated with tall wood buildings, sustainable retrofits of commercial buildings, and contextual urban design of healthy communities.
“Weathering the Storm: Mental Health and Resilient Design” discusses relationships between resilient design strategies and their impact of the mental health of building occupants. The study evaluated specific design strategies and their impact on mitigating stress in a crisis event, as well as cost of implementation. The results indicate that majority of the of the investigated strategies would have marginal to low costs for new and existing buildings, and that they would mitigate negative mental health impacts on building occupants.
“Tall Wood Survey: Identifying and Analyzing the Obstacles of Perception” addresses the public’s perception of engineered wood products to determine if there are perception barriers associated with advancing tall wood buildings. The research methodology included literature review and a survey, where general population responded to a web-based questionnaire. The results indicated that flammability was identified as the greatest perception barrier, followed by strength, deforestation and durability. The study concluded that public education and awareness can increase familiarity with engineered wood products, and may contribute to overcoming perception barriers.
“Sustainable and Energy Efficient Commercial Retrofit: Case Study of Perkins+Will Atlanta Office” reviews the importance of building retrofits in sustainable design, and significant opportunities for improving energy efficiency associated with existing buildings. The research methodology consisted of a literature review and a detailed case study. The article illustrates specific design strategies, building systems, renewable energy sources, materials and water harvesting for Perkins+Wll Atlanta office, and concludes with barriers and opportunities that are currently present for achieving energy efficiency in commercial retrofits.
“A Contextual Study for Healthy Communities in China: Towards Culturally-Sensitive Urban Design and Planning” presents a framework for developing healthy communities in China, considering cultural, social and environmental aspects. The framework is based on the concept that healthcare facilities and their surrounding communities should function as an integrated system. The research methodology included literature review and observations, where a central region in Shanghai was investigated. The article concludes with recommendation how this specific district could be improved in terms of providing healthcare to its residents, as well as general conclusions how the framework can be adopted to other Chinese locations.