This issue of the Perkins+Will Research Journal includes five articles that focus on different research topics, such as using wood for tall buildings, the impact of lean principles on construction, sound masking in office environments, the design of therapeutic gardens for children with autism spectrum disorders, and the design of health districts.
“Lessons From Tall Wood Buildings: What We Learned from Ten International Examples” discusses a qualitative study that focused on the use of wood structural systems for tall buildings. The study used a survey to collect information about recently constructed tall wood buildings, and this article reviews the findings of the survey. The results indicate that one of the driving factors for using wood as a structural system is the potential for wood to reduce the carbon emissions impact from buildings (embodied and operational). The results also emphasize that the motivation and rationale for considering wood in tall building construction is often reinforced by supportive policy context.
“Impact of Lean Principles on Timely Project Completion” focuses on the impacts of lean strategies on timely completion of construction projects. The study used a survey to compare projects that applied lean principles versus non-lean projects. Results indicate that the application of lean principles assisted contractors to complete projects ahead of schedule, or helped them to adjust schedule to finish on time when delays were encountered.
“Sound Masking Systems and Their Effectiveness: Does Sound Masking Really Work?” reviews results of an experimental study that was conducted to understand the effects of sound masking systems on acoustic qualities of open office spaces. The findings of the study indicate that speech recognition is consistently lowered in open office spaces that have an active sound masking system, providing an elevated level of speech privacy.
“Analysis of Therapeutic Gardens for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders” discusses how outdoor design elements and landscape design can benefit children with ASD. The study used a literature review and review of established design criteria, observation and analysis of built projects to evaluate design criteria, and an application of design guidelines to a specific project. The results of the study included a refined set of design guidelines.
“A Vision and Planning Framework for Health Districts of the Future” proposes a new planning framework for health districts, which are aimed to improve population health outcomes and to inspire healthy behaviors. The framework consist of four parts including population health, place, partnerships and performance.