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latest edition of the

15th Anniversary 

Design Guide

Published continuously since 2003

 Updated frequently

Now with Updated Patient Safety Risk Assessment Tool

EDITION 7.3 OF THE DESIGN GUIDE FOR THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT OF BEHAVIORAL HEALTH FACILITIES is now published by Behavioral Health Facility Consulting, LLC (BHFC).  This edition contains an updated Patient Safety Risk Assessment Tool to better align with The Joint Commission’s November 2017 ligature risk recommendations and assist with the design, fixtures and furnishings of behavioral healthcare facilities


Written by national experts James M. Hunt, AIA, and David Sine,DrBE, ARM, CSP, CPHRM, the publication identifies specific items and manufacturers (with model numbers and photographs) to explain why hundreds of resources (from door levers to security glass) are appropriate for use in the behavioral healthcare setting. The document was first issued in 2003 as Guidelines for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities and reissued in subsequent editions between 2007 and 2018 as the Design Guide. The 7.3 edition of the guide is intended to help those who are involved in caring for patients within an existing behavioral healthcare program as well as those designing a new building or renovating space. The text is searchable (using CTL+F).

The document is not intended as a legal standard of care that facilities are in any way required to follow. Download a free copy of the guide: CLICK HERE 


James M. Hunt, AIA, NCARB, president of Behavioral Health Facility Consulting, LLC, in Topeka, KS, is a registered architect and facility management professional with more than 40 years’ experience. Among other positions, he served as director of facilities management for the Menninger Clinic for 20 years and was a founding member and past chair of the Health Care Council of the International Facility Management Association. David Sine, ARM, CSP, CPHRM, president of SafetyLogic Systems in Austin, TX, is an expert in safety, risk management, human factors, and organizational consulting. He serves as a member of the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code Subcommittee on Health Care Occupancies and The Joint Commission Committee on Healthcare Safety.