Zhipeng Lu - Ph.D. Student

Zhipeng Lu

Ph.D Student

Walking for Healthy Aging: Walkable Corridors in Assisted Living Facilties

Zhipeng's dissertation is titled "Walking for Healthy Aging: Walkable Corridors in Assisted Living Facilties." His research has found that the physical inactivity prevalent in long-term care residences poses a threat to older people's health. He believes assisted living facilties' indoor corridors have the potential to facilitate regular walking and therefore more healthy aging. According to Zhipeng, the perception of walkability is essential for frail older people to initiate and adhere to walking behavior. 

The goals of his study are to identify walkability-related physical features of corridors, as perceived by assisted living residents, and to develop an evidence-based "Indoor Walkability Audit Tool" and design guidelines. His study is composed of a mixed-method approach. Zhipeng will conduct focus groups in eight facilities in Harris and Brazos counties, evaluate corridors through visual simulation and photography, and employ gaming with physical models. Zhipeng anticipates graduating in May 2008.

(979) 862-9309

Phillip Park

Phillip Park

Ph.D. Student

Environmental Color for Pediatric Patient Room Design

Jin Gyu's dissertation is titled, "Environmental Color for Pediatric Patient Room Design." The purpose of the study is to gather a body of knowledge on the value of color in pediatric patient rooms. The project's data collection focuses on three subject groups: healthy children, pediatric patients and design professionals. Phillip has collected data from healthy children, design professionals, and pediatric patients. 

The goal of his study is to build empirical evidence on the selection of color as a component in healing environments of pediatric patients. The results will also help healthcare providers and professionals select appropriate colors for pediatric patients. Phillip is scheduled to graduate in August 2007 and plans to present the final results of his study at the Academy of Architecture for Health's 2007 Fall Conference. He is working under the direction of Mardelle Shepley, CHSD director. Upon graduating, Phillip plans to pursue an academic career in healthcare design research.

(979) 204-6596

Zhe Wang

Ph.D. Student

Residential Site Plans and Older Adults' Walking

Zhe's dissertation is titled as "Residential Site Plans and Older Adults' Walking." It recieved the American Institute of Architects' 2006 RFP Research Program Award.


Xuemei Zhu

Xuemei Zhu

Ph.D. Student

Healthy Communities for Children: Linking the Built Environment with Children's Walking to and from School

Xuemei's dissertation is titled, "Healthy Communities for Children: Linking the Built Environment with Children's Walking to and from School." She has found that walking to and from school cn increase a child's physical activity and reduce obesity, but that often, the built environment imposes barriers that reduce walking. Her study involves 73 elementary schools in Austin, Texas. The diverse socio-demographic of Austin also allows Xuemei to examine ethnic disparity by comparing Hispanic and non-Hispanic white children's school travel arrangements. Her study will attempt to develop a "walkability" and safety index of the built environment for school travel, as well as test this index against parent's decision making on children's travel methods. Xuemei is studying the environment-behavior relationship through school attendance data, neighborhood walkability, street-level walkability and safety from traffic and crime.


Rana S. Zadeh

Assesment of Sustainable Design on the Healthcare Built Environment

Xiaodong Xuan

Ph.D. Student

Exploring the Effectiveness of LEED certification in LEED Certified Hospitals in humid subtropical climate zone

In the USA, buildings consume approximately one-third of the total annual energy and total raw materials, one-fourth of the total water, and generate more than one-third of the total atmospheric emissions and one-fourth of total solid waste.
Most LEED certified building types are commercial office buildings and multi-use buildings. As of October 2009, 35000 projects were participating in the LEED system as registered projects, “comprising over 4.5 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 91 countries”. However, as of April 30, 2009, 43 healthcare projects had achieved LEED certification. Of these, 13 are acute-care or specialty hospitals, 5 are ambulatory (mixed-occupancy) buildings, and 25 are medical office buildings/clinics.
Many studies have focused on the economic benefits of LEED certified hospitals. However, as more hospitals incorporate green building practices and obtain LEED certification, research is needed to understand the potential public health benefits by assessing the extent to which LEED certified hospitals provide a functional environment that is productive and comfortable.
The goal of the proposed study is to explore effectiveness of LEED certified design strategies in hospitals and assess how green hospital building attributes affect occupant satisfaction and performance. This research has the following objectives:

Samari Pasha

Usability of Outdoor Spaces in Children's Hospitals