Designing for Health Equity: the PRECEDE Tool [HSW]

If interior designers can quickly and easily visualize and interpret public health data for specific project locations, they can more easily make health-informed and equitable design decisions tailored to occupants. This empowers designers to be advocates for those in underserved occupants and communities.

Funded by a research grant from the American Society of Interior Designers, Perkins&Will worked with Harvard to develop the Public Repository to Engage Community & Enhance Design Equity (PRECEDE) tool, which pulls data from several publicly accessible geospatial databases in the United States, helping designers to understand the distribution of health outcomes, climate risks and social conditions around a specific site. The tool also helps designers interpret the data and connects them with guidance on potential design interventions tailored to specific indicators for their site, community or city.

This session will introduce the PRECEDE database and highlight comparative findings from three case studies illustrating the tool in practical application.

David Cordell, ASID

Associate Principal


 With over 20 years of experience as project designer and technical coordinator on ground-breaking projects, Cordell brings a particular focus on interior environments and their interaction with occupant health and wellness and sustainability. Cordell’s experience includes a variety of corporate, nonprofit, healthcare, and science and technology projects for clients of various sizes. For more than ten years he has been the sustainability leader for the interiors practice in Perkins&Will’s Washington, D.C. office. Cordell has worked on numerous LEED projects, several of which earned Platinum certification, including ASID’s headquarters, the first project in the world to also earn Platinum certification under the WELL Building Standard. Cordell chairs the National ASID Committee on Climate, Health and Equity, and speaks regularly on topics related to healthy interior environments, diversity and inclusion and sustainability.

Amina Helstern, LEED AP ID+C

Senior Associate - Sr. Regenerative Design Advisor

Perkins &Will

Amina Helstern is a Senior Regenerative Design Advisor and Senior Associate at Perkins & Will — a global leader in the design of sustainable environments — where she oversees high-performance energy and carbon analysis, material research, health and well-being initiatives, and resilience factors on a wide range of projects. Trained as an architect, Amina incorporates environmental strategies into the earliest phases of the firm’s corporate interiors, residential, mixed-use, K-12 education, branded environments, sports and recreation, and affordable housing projects. A member of Perkins & Will’s Living Design Leadership Council, Amina works with other experts in design, sustainability, and technical execution to refine the strategic direction for the firm and, by extension, the industry. She has developed numerous tools and resources for project teams and clients to track quantitative and qualitative metrics, resulting in more positive environmental outcomes on the ground. Amina was a key member of the research teams who delivered projects such as Healthy Affordable Housing: The Toolkit ( and the Public Repository to Engage Community and Enhance Design Equity -- PRECEDE (

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