Healthcare infrastructure

About Healthcare Infrastructurehealthcare_emergency_sign

The healthcare infrastructure research group’s work tackles the key challenges that face today's health and care systems. In particular, it helps delivery agencies meet expanding demand while also controlling costs, improving quality and raising productivity.

Our Research

Evidence of the value of the group’s activity is the EPSRC-funded Health and Care Infrastructure Research and Innovation Centre (HaCIRIC) which is a four-way collaboration between Imperial College London and the universities of Loughborough, Reading and Salford. It delivers world class research to support better healthcare through better infrastructure. The Centre has a strong interdisciplinary research team with a good track record in influencing practice in the UK and disseminating knowledge internationally. The four issues covered at Reading are: (i) Home not hospital; (ii) Safer patients; (iii) Smarter purchasing; (iv) Better decision-making.

Continuing prioritisation of healthcare research within the built environment domain means the healthcare infrastructure research group is well-placed to secure further funding over the medium term. Plans are also in place to re-energise the School’s profile of ageing research as it relates to the built environment. Growing areas of interest for the group relate to the ageing society and the introduction of intelligent digital technologies into the domestic setting.

Research-informed teaching

Building Information Modelling

Digital Technology Use in Construction

Strategic Management 

Human Resource Management

Selected Projects

International Project on Healthcare Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) (Dr. Jas Gill; Dr. Chris Harty)

July 2012- May 2013

The aim of this project is to better understand the dynamics underlying the performance of different types of healthcare PPP (Public Private Partnership) by carrying out on an in-depth empirical analysis of a small number of European hospital PPPs.


Building Information Models and complex healthcare infrastructure delivery: Development, application, benefits and challenges (Dr. Richard Davies; Dr. Chris Harty)

January 2010-May 2013

This research is investigating and reporting on the development and implementation of BIM oriented technologies on the Barts and the London hospitals project - a £1 billion refurbishment and new build programme across two sites. Our aim is to provide insights into the challenges of implementing such technologies within interdisciplinary contexts and across the whole supply chain in complex healthcare settings.


KTP project to develop tools, networks and processes for ideas capture and implementation in a large construction organisation (Dr. Richard Davies; Dr. Chris Harty)

October 2012 - October 2014

This knowledge transfer project is a two-year applied research engagement to contribute to a culture of routinely generating, exploiting and sharing ideas across Skanska UK and its supply chain. The project will develop and promote an ideas capture and innovation management system encompassing: tools (software); networks of project participants and innovator/users; and business innovation processes and investment plans.


Home, Hospital and the 'Virtual Ward' (Dr. Dylan Tutt; Dr. Ian Ewart; Dr. Chris Harty)

January 2012- May 2013

This is a HaCIRIC Phase 2 capacity building project studying how the home and other existing healthcare spaces are being reconfigured to better facilitate Frail Elderly care. It draws on ethnographic studies of communication and work practice in the design and utilization of healthcare spaces, developing previous work on implementation of the Frail Elderly Pathway in a Midlands PCT.


Home not Hospital: Adapting the Home (Dr. Ian Ewart: Dr. Dylan Tutt: Dr. Chris Harty)

January 2012- May 2013

Enabling people to remain at home during times of ill-health or disability depends on adapting their domestic environment to suit. The effects of introducing adaptations to the home are both physical, altering the house in a material way, and social, altering meaning and behaviour. This project is piloting investigations into the social and material adaptations that transform the home into an effective place of healthcare.


Design practices for fit for purpose healthcare infrastructure (Dr. Carole Boudeau; Dr. Chris Harty)

July 2010-May 2013

This project examines how designers, together with stakeholders, create buildings that are practically and organisationally suitable for the delivery of healthcare. It draws on sociological approaches to everyday activities to identify how common sense and ordinary knowledge of healthcare practitioners, patients, visitors and other interested parties is incorporated into the design of building facilities.


Journeys into the CAVE: The use of 3D immersive environments for client engagement practices in hospital design (Dr. Dylan Tutt; Dr. Carole Boudeau; Laura Maftei; Dr. Chris Harty)

September 2011- May 2013

This project uses observation and video-based methods to explore what role immersive virtual environments (such as the CAVE) can play during critical moments of client and stakeholder engagement. It examines the use of virtual reality in a 'real world' project during the bidding and design review process for large new single bedroom hospital in the UK.


Understanding the client and their requirements: the briefing & design process on hospital projects (William Collinge, PhD student funded through HaCIRIC DTG award. Supervised by Dr. Chris Harty and Prof. Martin Sexton)

April 2010- September 2014

The PhD study investigates the briefing and design work surrounding PFI hospital projects in the UK and focuses upon the client/designer interactions and the process of design whereby client requirements are transformed into conceptual design solutions.


The Social and Technical Implications of BIM in Practice (Laura Maftei, PhD Student. Supervised by Dr. Chris Harty and Prof. Jennifer Whyte)

September 2011- February 2015

This PhD project examines the potential of immersive virtual reality technologies to mediate construction design activities and the connection to broader sets of design practice using other types of design media. To address this concern, the study sets out to understand how the design (review) process is performed in a CAVE (CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment) environment.


Public Participation in NHS Construction Projects (Hatim Fakhri, PhD Student. Supervised by Dr. Chris Harty and Dr. Shu-Ling Lu)

January 2011- June 2015

This multiple case study research is about interpreting and defining public participation in NHS construction projects by the key actors involved. It will explore the practice of NHS public participation in these projects, against the NHS public participation policies and against broader framework, and will contribute to the literature on delivery and efficiency of NHS infrastructure.


Sustainable Design Benefits and Analysis of RoI from the adoption of BIM processes and technologies within a Property & Real Estate business  (Ruth Dowsett, EngD student. Supervised by Dr. Chris Harty and Prof. Jennifer Whyte)

January 2012-December 2015

This EngD project investigates how new working processes utilising emerging BIM technologies can be developed to deliver more sustainable design processes, and to produce demonstrable benefits of these processes across the whole life cycle for wider implementation within the sector.

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