Health + Wellness Research

In the case of schools, designers can leverage the transformational potential of design to improve well-being and academic performance where students live, learn, and play. VMDO’s commitment to health and wellness is embedded in every learning space we design, with a particular emphasis on designing school environments that support life-long healthy choices and behaviors.

Health & Wellness Research

Health and Wellness are values we share with our clients. Where children, adolescents and young adults live, learn, and play impacts health and learning outcomes. Using a health equity framework to address building design and programming factors that can optimize the health of learners, we work across disciplines to create architecture that emphasizes the connections between physical design and health, as well as the positive health benefits from design that promotes active, engaged, and joyful learning.

As a constellation of designers, researchers, and technical experts, we work collaboratively and in concert with our clients to create healthy places for learners of all ages to achieve recognition, development, and success by considering the role of architecture on the positive physical, mental, and social factors necessary for occupant health and performance.

In recognition of the myriad ways that schools can invest in enhancing academic success for students, together we can continue to build on robust evidence aligning healthy physical learning environments with pre-requisites for better health and learning outcomes. Pre-requisites such as school siting, healthy eating and nutrition education, physical activity and movement, circadian rhythm and natural lighting, indoor air quality, and access to nature should be holistically considered as schools move toward playing an ever greater role in a healthy future for all children.

VMDO is proud to have co-authored, with a team of public health scientists and educators, the Healthy Eating Design Guidelines for School Architecture (2012, Centers for Disease Control) and Physical Activity Design Guidelines for School Architecture (2015, PLOS ONE). These replicable guidelines provide research-based strategies for school planners, designers, and educators to use in promoting healthy eating and physical activity as school-based wellness promotion.

Health and Wellness are values we share with our clients. Where children, adolescents and young adults live, learn, and play impacts health and learning outcomes. Using a health equity framework to address building design and programming factors that can optimize the health of learners, we work across disciplines to create architecture that emphasizes the connections between physical design and health, as well as the positive health benefits from design that promotes active, engaged, and joyful learning.

As a constellation of designers, researchers, and technical experts, we work collaboratively and in concert with our clients to create healthy places for learners of all ages to achieve recognition, development, and success by considering the role of architecture on the positive physical, mental, and social factors necessary for occupant health and performance.

In recognition of the myriad ways that schools can invest in enhancing academic success for students, together we can continue to build on robust evidence aligning healthy physical learning environments with pre-requisites for better health and learning outcomes. Pre-requisites such as school siting, healthy eating and nutrition education, physical activity and movement, circadian rhythm and natural lighting, indoor air quality, and access to nature should be holistically considered as schools move toward playing an ever greater role in a healthy future for all children.

VMDO is proud to have co-authored, with a team of public health scientists and educators, the Healthy Eating Design Guidelines for School Architecture (2012, Centers for Disease Control) and Physical Activity Design Guidelines for School Architecture (2015, PLOS ONE). These replicable guidelines provide research-based strategies for school planners, designers, and educators to use in promoting healthy eating and physical activity as school-based wellness promotion.

Recent Work

Discovery Elementary School

Discovery Elementary School

Recognizing that students are the creators of our collective future, Discovery Elementary sets the stage…

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Buckingham County Primary + Elementary Schools

Buckingham County Primary + Elementary Schools

The former middle and high school buildings, built in 1954 and 1962 respectively, are transformed into…

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Fauquier High School Renovation + Addition

Fauquier High School Renovation + Addition

The renovation of Fauquier High School consists of the replacement of an underperforming 1964 classroom…

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Recent Blog Posts

Investing in Communities, Transforming Lives: The Story of the Buckingham Schools Project

In 2006, Terry Huang, a researcher at the National Institutes of Health, proposed a completely new approach to combating childhood obesity: Architecture.…

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How Smarter School Architecture Can Help Kids Eat Healthier Food

Now schools are adding another tool to the fight for fitter kids: Architecture.

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Kids Need Movement to Learn

This article was written by Associate Dina Sorensen and originally published by the Center for Active Design.

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