Category: Featured Article

Featured Articles on PRISM


This series argues in favor of biophilic design by examining scientific studies of nature’s effect on productivity and human health in a variety of built environments, and assigning economic values to these outcomes to promote the broad adoption of biophilic design. The aim of our research is to show the economic value in offering biophilic experiences, not just as a luxury, but as an economic driver. In order to understand the case for utilizing biophilic design, it is crucial to discuss how productivity, health, and wellbeing can be measured—ranging from reduced absenteeism to improved classroom outcomes—and translated into dollar savings. Our investigations into “human capital management” have provided the foundation to understand why society can no longer afford to ignore the value of nature. Our initial explorations of biophilic design in the workplace and hospitality have shown significant benefits, prompting us to further explore potential benefits to other industries and sectors of society.

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Designing from the Outside In

Sustainable design tips and predictions from OZ Architecture. When it comes to sustainability in the senior living built environment, we must look inside as well as outside for answers about the future of high performance buildings that promote improved energy efficiency and wellness for their aging residents.

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Five Myths of Specifying a High-Performance Door

Specifications are an essential part of the design process, but not the most glamorous. It was said by Charles Eames that the details are not the details, they make the design. If the specification is unclear or lacking detail, it will often result in the wrong product being installed. In the case of high-performance products, it can mean costing a company time and money. Don’t fall for these top five myths related to specifying a high-performance door.

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How Vancouver Greened its Waterfront

The Vancouver Convention Centre West holistically integrates a metropolitan downtown with one of the most spectacular natural ecosystems in North America. Completed in 2009, and certified as the world’s first LEED Platinum convention center (and recently becoming the world’s first double LEED Platinum convention center following LEED Platinum certification for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance, v.4), the project weaves together architecture, interiors, urban design, and landscape in a unified piece of the urban fabric that functions literally as a living part of both the city and the harbor.

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Large Building Airtightness Testing and the Selection of Appropriate Air Barrier Strategies

An airtight building enclosure is an important part of a modern building. Good airtightness can increase energy efficiency, improve durability, and allow greater control over occupant comfort and indoor air quality. Airtightness is achieved with an effective air barrier system that is carefully designed and detailed and then built and commissioned in the field. An effective air barrier consists of a continuous system of materials (building wraps, membranes, etc.), components (doors, windows, etc.) and accessories (tapes, sealants, gaskets, etc.). These air barrier elements must be individually airtight and airtight when used together.

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The Evolution of Color Trends

It happens every year: a new trendy color begins popping up in store fronts, on social media and in home decor. As designers, it’s important to have an understanding of current and future color trends and their influences in order to create spaces that will meet the needs of your clients. Color trends are inspired by and derived from demographic, geographic and overall societal and cultural influences. As the world continues to evolve, so do color trends, as they are in fact an outcome of timing, events and moods.

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The color trends driving design in 2018

No design trend is more influential and ubiquitous than color. Color has the power to impact moods and communicate our values and personalities without saying a word. Needless to say, the colors you choose to cover the walls of your home or business have a significant effect on the people in the space. Not only do trending colors create a visually appealing space, but they can help give commercial spaces a competitive edge in attracting visitors and customers. Staying abreast of color trends and their influences helps to shape forward-thinking design.

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August September 2017 online edition of PRISM

Most read in February 2018

Roadmap for Designing Net Zero Labs by Jacob Tsimanis PE, LEED AP, CPMP & BCxP. Photo credit: Shutterstock, Artist Siyanight

Roadmap for Designing Net Zero Labs by Jacob Tsimanis PE, LEED AP, CPMP & BCxP. Photo credit: Shutterstock, Artist Siyanight


Timelapse video of Burns & McDonnell world headquarters building