Human Factors College of Design



Project: Comparison of Two Clinic Planning Models: An Analysis of On-Stage/Off-Stage and Neighborhood Designs
Student: Jeremy Bernardy
Faculty Advisors: Kathleen Harder, PhD, Center for Design in Health Director
Consortium Firm: AECOM (Minneapolis)
Firm Advisors: Greg Mare, Healthcare Practice Leader – America, Rich Lay, Associate Principal, Architectural Director, Jim Lewison, Associate Principal, Interior Design Director, Christy Devens, Associate Principal, Interior Project Designer and Kim Williamson, Associate Principal, Interior Design Director

Description: The careful planning of new healthcare facilities is crucial in the programming phase to ensure high functionality for both staff and patients. Major issues that must be considered are: movement patterns, location of exam rooms and office space, and wayfinding. These factors greatly impact the operational  costs and overall efficiency of a new clinic space. This proposed research project will observe two local (Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area) outpatient clinics that were designed using separate planning models. A third clinic, constructed in the traditional model, will be used to test against the results of the first two. This projects is an attempt  to understand the advantages and disadvantages that the clinics designed with non traditional model have over the traditional model and what cost implications (if any) are present. The results will produce data that can be used to educate the industry for the planning of future projects.

Comparison of two clinic planning models


Project: Reconnecting Design and Sustainability: An Analysis of Gaps Between Sustainable Design Principles and Practice
Student: Ben Lewis
Faculty Advisors: Richard Strong, Center for Sustainable Building Research
Consortium Firm: MSR
Firm Advisors: Jack Poling, Chris Wingate,Simona Fischer

Description: This research project is an in-dpeth investigation into the sustainable design process to find out how the first principles generated at the beginning of the project are translated into strategies which achieve performance metrics.



Project: Emerging Models of Health Care Delivery and Design
Student: Lucas Glissendorf
Faculty Advisors: Kathleen Harder, PhD Director, Center for Design in Health
Consortium Firm: HGA
Firm Advisors: Amy Douma, AIA, Jim Moore, AIA, Kara Freihoefer, PhD

Description: The project seeks to address the primary research question: “How does the design of the outpatient clinic influence effectiveness of care delivery?” To provide context for the study, findings from the literature review summarize changes in the delivery of health care services. Of primary emphasis is a shift toward team-based approaches to care delivery. These emerging models call for changes in the organization and operation of the primary care team. Additionally, approaches to clinic design are changing to address team-based care. The project identifies gaps in currently published research; a lack of documentation of primary care provider activity in outpatient settings and insufficient critical analysis of emerging clinic design models. The project seeks to address these gaps by engaging in direct shadowing of primary care providers, immersive outpatient clinical observations, and conducting staff focus groups to collect data.



Project: Risk in Performance-Based Contracting: Energy Performance Guarantees
Student: Jacob Cherry
Faculty Advisors: Richard Graves
Consortium Firm: Mortenson Construction
Firm Advisors: Julianne Laue

Description: The research project objective is to understand how energy performance guarantees (EPGs) in building delivery contracts alter project risk in three building delivery methods, design-bid-build, design-build, and construction manager at risk. Literature review established risk definition, categorization, and allocation in traditional project delivery scenarios.



Project: Reworked Scope of Energy Performance Guarantees   
Student: Chris Massey 
Faculty Advisors: Jim Lutz
Consortium Firm: Mortenson Construction
Firm Advisors: Julianne Laue

Description: To better understand the current state of EPGs and their effectiveness, this research aims to explore 15 case studies, 5 with financial incentives or penalties and 10 with other means of energy regulation. The first part, understanding the current state, will explore the who, what, where, when, why, and how of EPGs and how they differ from other energy programs and how they relate to broader energy trends, policy and issues. This will be done largely through project RFPs (request for proposals) as well as a literature review and basic research into energy programs. The second part will explore the effectiveness, risks, and actual implementation of these projects. This will be done through interviews with architects, contractors, engineers, and owners/clients that have been or are currently involved with EPG’s and energy regulation programs.


Project: Wood: Rediscovered for the 21st Century
Student: Elliot Olney
Faculty Advisors: Blaine Brownell, Andrea Johnson
Consortium Firm: HGA
Firm Advisors: Alex Terzich, Amy Douma, Jim Moore

Description: The oldest building material, wood, has had advancements in engineering that allows builders to catchup with the accomplishments of steel and concrete in a structural application. HGA Architects, a member of the Research Consortium at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture, is interested in learning how they can better serve clients while maintaining industry pace in material research by integrating wood as a primary structural material into their current practice. This investigation will follow newly engineered wood products and their methods of construction to be applied to varying occupancy types. Using these types, a prototype project will explore the relationship of bay size and program flexibility, long span structural systems, and anthropogenic benefits through the aesthetic of a natural material. The investigation will explore these integrated wood systems within the prototype project in a way that not only lowers the carbon balance, but also provides viable options for standardized construction methods and aesthetic enhancements for the beautification of space


Project: Free Range Learning in Elementary Education F.R.E.E. Cuningham Group | North Park Elementary | University of Minnesota
Student: Dan DeVeau, Researcher
Faculty Advisors: John Comazzi, Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Renee Cheng, Professor, School of Architecture
Consortium Firm: Cuningham Group
Firm Advisors: Meg Parsons, AIA, Principal, Cuningham Group Architects and John Pfluger, AIA, Principal, Cuningham Group Architects

Description: The aim of the research, analysis, and documentation currently being conducted is to  assess the impact of specific design elements on the effectiveness of teaching and  learning in support of North Park Elementary School’s goal of fostering 21st-century skills for communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. In turn, this research will also contribute to the architecture profession by providing a rigorous, in-depth, and longitudinal case study analysis that will highlight innovative approaches to collaborative design for the creation of active learning environments in conjunction with specific models of education.


Project: Fringe Fab
Student: Christina Stark
Faculty Advisors: Andrea Johnson
Consortium Firm: HGA
Firm Advisors: Alex Terzich, Amy Douma, Jim Moore

Description: The aim of this research  is to identify innovative market-viable materials, collect information about selected materials that can be communicated to the firm, and provide context for the material or process that gives a deeper understanding of the product’s history and challenges of proposing the product for a project. The process of the search is documented to create a toolkit, to be used by HGA, for identifying viable “fringe” materials and how to find information necessary to be able to propose the material for a project. Information needed primarily relates to the material’s properties and the benefits and limitations related to those properties.


Project: Building Resilience A Framework to Quantify + Assess Resilience
Student: Fiona Wholey
Faculty Advisors: Jim Lutz
Consortium Firm: Perkins + Will
Firm Advisors: Perkins + Will: Rick Hintz, Meredith Hayes, Russell Philstrom, Doug Pierce, and Clark Taylor( Mortenson)

Description:This is a project with the UMN Consortium and Perkins + Will that aims to expand existing resilience frameworks to incorporate the changing risks from climate change and the importance of sustainability for designing resilient buildings. It seeks to examine how incorporating these discourses can help to reframe the discussion of resilient design from a cost to one of benefits and reduced risk. The methodology for the study is based upon an existing resilience assessment framework for disaster mitigation and integrates sustainability and climate change to develop a more inclusive framework to evaluate resilience. The ReLi Tool, in development by Perkins and Will, serves as the basis for testing this new framework using two schematic buildiings, an office and a hospital located in the Midwest. The result of this research is a study of resilient design strategies within this framework  examining their costs and benefits.



Project: VR and Construction: Investigating the Potential of Immersive Virtual Reality Technologies in the Operations of Mortenson Construction
Student: Will Adams
Faculty Advisors: Andrea Johnson, Lee Anderson, Renee Cheng
Consortium Firm: Mortenson Construction
Firm Advisors: Ricardo Kahn, Taylor Cupp

Description: This project is the result of two semesters of work, and is a combination of three related but separate components. The first, the spatial cognition in virtual reality experiment, included an extensive review of literature on spatial cognition in virtual reality and the design, execution, and documentation of an experiment involving 40 subjects, and the analysis of the acquired data. The second component of the report is a proposal for a portable kit which facilitates an immersive virtual environment. This kit is now approaching development. The third component is a description of how emerging immersive virtual reality technology would fit into and improve Mortenson’s construction activities.


Project: Material Sustainability - Evaluating the Environmental Impacts of Building Materials
Student: Kaylyn Kirby
Faculty Advisors: Blaine Brownell
Firm: MSR
Firm Advisors: Tom Meyer, Chris Wingate, Jack Poling, Rachelle Schoessler Lynn, Simona Fischer, Rhys MacPherson

Description: This project aims to reconcile the existing environmental impact tools with current MSR material research to develop a methodology that can be used by the firm, in conjunction with designers and clients, to make educated material decisions that satisfy the needs for the circumstance, human health, and environment. In particular, TALLY is described and tested using case studies in MSR.


Project: Data and Parametric Design - How Parametric Simulation and Data Visualization Can Inform Designers of the Implications of Their Iterations
Student: Daniel Raznick
Faculty Advisors: Marc Swackhamer
Firm: Perkins + Will
Firm Advisors: Rick Hintz, Meredith Hayes Gordon, Tony Layne, Andrew Salveson

Description: This study uses a project currently in schematic design to examine how parametric tools can be used to inform designers of the implications their iterative design decisions have on both performance criteria such as energy and daylight as well as design intent such as views and cost. The specific design featured used in the study is the glazing parameters on the primary facades.

Project: Project Delivery Toward the Future
Student: Amy Ennen
Faculty Advisers: Renee Cheng and Andrea Johnson
Firms: Mortenson Construction, DLR Group
Description: The purpose is to determine measurable metrics that will allow future projects in the architecture/engineering/construction industry to predict results and drive towards a higher level of success.


Project: Site Epidemiology: Tools for Understanding Rural Health Care Challenges at their Root
Student: Matt Tierney
Faculty Advisers: Jim Luta, John Comazzi, Renee Cheng
Firms: Perkins + Will
Description: The research internship will produce a field guide for Perkins + Will's Social Responsibility Initiative (SRI) which is intended to serve as the basis for the firm to understand the context of the Serengeti Plains.


Project: Tuned Surfaces: Incorporating Digital Simulation and Physical Prototyping in the Design of Acoustically Performative Side Wall Panels
Student: Philip Bussey
Faculty Advisers: Marc Swackhamer
Firms: HGA
Description: The outcomes of this proposal would include a report with physical and digital mockups of a hypothetical redesign for a surface in the completed project, speculating on how the project might have benefited from a variable "tuned" surface.



Project: Spatial Cognition in Virtual Reality: Developing an Evaluation Technique for Representation Methods of Virtual Models
Student: Will Adams
Faculty Advisers: Lee Anderson, Renee Cheng, and Andrea Johnson
Firms: Mortenson Construction
Description: This paper proposes a new experiment which was employed to test the ability of three mediums of representation to facilitate the memorization of the spatial characteristics of a 3D virtual environment respective to the human body.



Project: Energy Modeling Methodology
Student: Christopher Wingate
Faculty Advisers: Blaine Brownell
Firms: Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, LTD (MS&R)
Description: The research is focused on developing an energy modeling methodology for small to medium sized architecture firms that can be used to help inform early concept, schematic, and design development decisions


Project: Virtual Reality Report
Student: Jenna Johansson
Faculty Advisers: Renee Cheng
Firms: HGA Architects and Engineers and Perkins+Wil
Description: This paper addresses the advantages and disadvantages of virtual reality as it compares with full-scale physical mock-ups of the same space – patient rooms in the design of a California based hospital.


Consortium for Research Practices
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