EBD Step 5: Develop a Hypothesis

The team identifies specific topic(s) for research and translates selected research topics into hypothesis(ses) about the relationships between design solution(s) and targeted outcome(s). Not every hypothesis needs to become a formal research project, and the organization should establish how many measures are already collected as part of a standard operating or reporting process.


From a clinic perspective, having a team member familiar with evidence-based design or research will help you understand where outside resources and expertise may be required. There may be existing tools and methods available to use, but there may also be new material to be developed. If the clinic is associated with a hospital, there may be an identified process to work through the hospital’s IRB protocols. However, where an affiliation does not exist, there are independent IRBs that approve individual projects. Unlike clinical trials that have a direct clinical impact on patients, research surrounding the built environment is usually considered less invasive, and most often is considered as part of an expedited review process. Most peer-reviewed journals require IRB approvals to publish results.