Active Projects

An integrated approach to the design of high quality healthcare space and flexible layouts using Modelling, Simulation and Visualisation (MSV)

Project Facts

Start date: January 2008
End date: December 2010
Investigators Professor Andrew Price; Dr. Peter Demian
Staff Employed Dr Jun Lu; Yisong Zhao; Masoumeh Nazarian
Status Completed

Project Partners

    Purdue University, MJ Medical, DH Estates and Facilities, Nightingale Associates, Leicestershire and Rutland PTC, Intelligent Building Institute, HUST, China on a joint project proposal for the Royal Academy Engineering Research Exchange Scheme. SINTEF, Norway.


Project Partners

Department of Civil and Building Engineering
Loughborough University
Ashby Road
LE11 3TU
T: +44 (0) 15 0922 2627

The NHS has recently undertaken a major programme of investment and reform, and the Department of Health has recommended that the design of new healthcare facilities and refurbishment of existing buildings should be flexible enough to cope with changing patient expectations, new treatments and medical advances. Healthcare facilities provide the setting for a complex and varying range of activities involving many different types of stakeholders, with user groups including clinical staff, support staff facilities staff, patients and their carers, volunteers and visitors etc. The design of healthcare space is thus a complex process involving many different parameters and stakeholder perceptions, and the healthcare sector is currently experiencing one of its most challenging phases. Modelling, Simulation and Visualisation techniques can help improve the design process as the physical mock ups frequently used to assess different design options can be costly, time consuming and difficult to modify.

The main aim of this project was to develop an integrated approach to the design of high quality healthcare space and flexible layouts using Modelling, Simulation and Visualisation (MSV). This project developed an integrated approach to the design of high quality healthcare facilities using modelling, simulation and visualisation tools for the design of new buildings and the redesign of existing facilities, and focuses on acute hospitals and community hospitals. The project used construction related information technologies to develop potential solutions and an enhanced approach to evidence based design. The research developed new knowledge and theory on how the built environment adds value to healthcare delivery and improves understanding of how space affects patient care, safety, privacy, clinical recovery and operational efficiency. Targeting the design of new build and the assessment and redesign/reconfiguration of existing facilities, the research comprised: state of the art and best practice; scenarios for clinical activities; analytical methods of optimising space; assessment of standardisation and flexibility; evaluation of ward productivity, people flow and circulation; and proof of concept for an integrated approach using modelling, simulation and visualization. As the project progressed, opportunities arose to develop the original objectives into HaCIRIC funded projects with other Universities, including: EBLE with Sheffield University; OPHI with UCL; and Benefits Quantification (BQ) with Herriot Watt.

This research contributed to the development a collaborative project between European Investment Bank (EIB), HaCIRIC and ECHAA (European Centre for Health Assets and Architecture) to Review Evidence on the Impacts of Healthcare Infrastructure (IHI).