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2022 PDC Summit On Demand

Brain Break: The Benefits of a Project Pause

‐ Mar 21, 2022 9:45am

Credits: None available.

Would a pause result in a better design or building? What would that look like and how would it be included in projects? The pandemic provided a unique opportunity to examine the impact of design on the physical, emotional and mental well-being of patients and staff. For Yale New Haven Health (YNHH) and Shepley Bulfinch, COVID-19 presented an opportunity for a “brain break” in the design of over one billion dollars in projects at YNHH’s Saint Raphael Campus (SRC). This unexpected and extended case study had a heightened focus on building resiliency and flexibility, illustrating how a pause during design is an essential tool in designing more resilient spaces that are better equipped to face the unknown.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the benefits of a “brain break” for clients and the project team, its impact on resilient design, and how to approach a brain break and navigate related conversations with clients.
  • Ask designers effective questions regarding how a space and buildings systems adapt to changes in patient populations and patient care requirements.
  • Identify lessons learned from an extended and unprecedented case study, which can be implemented on future projects to create more resilient health care buildings.
  • Heighten focus on building resiliency and flexibility and its impact on the physical, emotional and mental well-being of users.
  • N/A



  • 1.00 - CEC

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Michael Berry_1
9/23/22 1:57 pm

I truly agree that a pause can be beneficial to a project and its staff from a mental health and take a step back and think about our approach perspective, but also agree that in our normal world projects, customers, needs, wants, finances, etc. do not allow for it. After working for 23 years as a commercial construction senior project manager working in different markets such as healthcare, industrial, higher education, etc. it has been nice for me to personally take a break for the last year as I explored a new job and industry. The pause does give you opportunity to reflect and rethink. However, if a team doesn't have the ability to step away, it's good to explore ways to step aside to keep thoughts and attitudes fresh if the project allows. Great presentation.

Michael Berry_1
9/29/22 10:41 am

For answers 1 - 3 that I previously submitted, I accidently marked them as strongly disagree assuming the reverse order of importance but the should have all been marked "strongly agree". Apologies for any confusion.