Journal One:

Aged Care

For this inaugural issue of the Evidence Based Design (EBD) Journal we focus on a building type that has been rapidly evolving over the past thirty years: the residential aged care facility, or nursing home. With a growing global trend towards the concept of aging-in-place, residential care facilities are now evolving programatically to meet multiple, complex needs:

  • a social and administrative hub for community-based programs.
  • residential care for those with significant physical health issues and/or dementia.
  • transitional and respite care.
  • palliative care outside of a hospital setting.

In the production of this issue, EBD has placed particular emphasis on designing for dementia.

We have reviewed over 1,190 research publications and selected 215 articles that are most relevant to the topic.

All articles have been written with non-academics in mind, by acknowledged experts in the fields of Architecture and Gerontology. Each article has been reviewed by an esteemed panel of academics, with significant experience in research and design practice.

A resource for the Architect:

  • In addition to academic research, we feature the work of Alvaro Siza, Aires Mateus, BCQ, Fedderesenarchitekten, Ipostudio and, Peter Zumthor, amongst others.
  • Whether you are experienced in the aged care sector or you are looking to enter that market, this publication will be of value to you.
  • The case studies not only provide comprehensive illustrations of the architecture but, critically, they provide information about how those facilities work for their occupants.
  • The design strategies are based on a set of agreed principles, from the most up-to-date research, and they are intended to inform, rather than determine, a design outcome.

A resource for the Care Provider

  • The case studies provide information on operational matters that affect staff and residents alike.
  • The evidence-based design strategies help you work with your architects to develop a brief for your new care facility.
  • The design strategies can be used to assess existing facilities if you are considering a refurbishment project.

A resource for researchers:

  • All of the evidence used in this publication has been peer reviewed and summarised.
  • Where available, the research literature is presented with links to the original publication sites.1
  • DOI links have been used where they are available.

A resource for residents and their families:

  • This publication will help you to assess the suitability of a care facility you may be considering for you, or a member of a your family.
  • If you wish to learn more about the condition of dementia, the design strategies focus on the remaining capabilities, not just the limitations of people who live with the disease, in the context of their environment.

We hope you find this publication both useful and stimulating and look forward to hearing from you about ways to improve each issue.

  1. Please note that although every effort has been made to ensure that all links are functional, changes can be made by host sites that are beyond our control.


    The journal is presented in three distinct sections:

    1. 2x Articles on:
      • The role of evidence in the design process, and
      • The use of new and emerging ‘smart’ technologies.
    2. 35 x individual evidence-based design strategies based on 6 primary principles:
      • Orientation
      • Independence
      • Stimulation
      • Safety and Security
      • Home
      • Private-Public life.
    3. 2 x significant case studies of contemporary facilities from Italy and Germany.