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  • Writer's pictureBHFC Design Consulting

Guiding design strategies for behavioral health care

By: Mike Hrickiewicz | This article was originally published in Health Facilities Management.

James M. Hunt, AIA, NCARB, principal of Behavioral Healthcare Architectural Group and co-author of the "Design Guide for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities," discusses the growth of these facilities, common behavioral design mistakes and the migration of the "Design Guide" to the Facility Guidelines Institute.

What initially prompted you and your co-author, David M. Sine, ARM, CSP, CPHRM, to write the "Design Guide for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities" in 2003?

There seemed to be a lack of understanding about why behavioral health facilities needed to be designed differently and to use different products such as door hardware and toilet accessories. Our goal was to help design professionals and behavioral health facilities understand the how, why and what of these differences and provide centralized information regarding where the specialized products could be obtained. This was at a time before widespread use of social media, blogs, websites and similar communication methods that we take for granted today.

You are currently on your seventh edition. What has determined when it’s time for a new edition?

While the current edition is titled 7.0, there have been a total of 16 updates in all, including decimal point updates of some editions. In recent years, we have tried to post one or two updates per year. The timing is dependent on our having a substantial list of new products we want to include and having the time available to make the revisions. Every time we post a new update, we have a file of new products in development, but not yet commercially available, that we want to include in the next version.


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