Resilient and Dignified Design for Behavioral Health Spaces

Innovative behavioral health interiors incorporate enlightened design to achieve net-zero-readiness and advance equity, while adhering to the highest standards of material health, and safety. The challenges and pressures of designing at the intersection of healthcare, sustainability, and DEI efforts can seem insurmountable. Yet Brockton Behavioral Health Center (BBHC) proves that behavioral healthcare facility design can push the envelope in multiple directions while serving a vulnerable healthcare population with dignity and empathy. Join Tracey Weeden, Director of BBHC, Nancy Hanright, Senior Director at Boston Medical Center, Nicole Voss, Director of Sustainability at isgenuity, and Sarah Lueck, Project Designer, as they discuss the project's goals, successes and challenges over a year after opening. In October 2022, Boston Medical Center opened the BBHC in response to an overwhelming need for behavioral inpatient care in Massachusetts. The ongoing mental health crisis deteriorates the collective welfare of communities and support networks, especially those whose social fabric was stretched thin by the pandemic. The facility's design prioritizes resilience, flexibility, dignity, and safety for both patients and staff. Staff expertise guided every aspect of the design, yielding an effective treatment environment that improves staff support, retention, and well-being. Biophilic, evidence-based interior design brings the outside indoors to elevate user experience. Natural (and nature-inspired) redlist-free materials, alongside plant installations and uplifting color palettes, create a calming and restorative atmosphere to both patients and staff. Acknowledging that climate change disproportionately impacts the most disadvantaged communities, BMC minimized the project's environmental impact: this net-zero-ready facility operates at an industry-leading 46 EUI. To have a significant and lasting impact on the community, the facility is positioned to be an adaptable, and reliable resource in the face of both climate change and evolving treatment needs. Inspired design ethos, forward-thinking sustainability measures, and community equity set the facility and its community up for resilient futures.

Sarah Lueck

Associate Principal


Sarah Lueck, Associate Principal at isgenuity, is trained as an architect, specializes in interior architecture, and has an ongoing focus in Healthy Materials. She brings a wealth of knowledge in creating thoughtfully detailed and sustainable spaces spanning everything from single and multifamily residential to commercial and institutional. Recent clients include Lifespan, Wellesley College, Boston Medical Center, Alexandria Real Estate, and Boston Healthcare for the Homeless. With over a decade of experience in creating empathetic, healing spaces that are sensitive to user needs, Sarah is one of isgenuity’s foremost experts on biophilia and design for holistic wellness.

Nicole Voss, AIA, LEED AP, WELL AP

Associate Principal, Director of Sustainability


Nicole Voss, AIA, LEED BD+C, WELL AP is the Director of Sustainability and an Associate Principle at isgenuity, which is a mission-driven architectural firm focused on contributing to humanity in ways that demonstrate a commitment to equity and sustainability. Nicole is dedicated to advancing environmental justice through the firm’s work in healthcare, higher education, and science & tech. Nicole is also focused on systematically reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with the built environment in her role as a co-chair of the CLF Boston / Northeast Hub, and she champions regenerative design as part of the New England Living Futures Community.

Tracey Weeden, LICSW

Executive Director

Boston Medical Center

Tracey Weeden, LICSW, is anExecutive Director of the BMC Brockton Behavioral Health Hospital, with morethan 25 years of experience in behavioral healthcare. Tracey’s focus is onoperational effectiveness by designing sustainable systems of care, strategicplanning and capacity building. She is a board member for non-profit andgovernment boards that aim to improve social determinants of health andincrease health equity across diverse communities.

Nancy Hanright

Senior Director, Real Estate and Capital Planning

Boston Medical Center Health System

Nancy Hanright is the Senior Director of Real Estate and Capital Planning for Boston Medical Center Health System, a 514 bed academic medical health consortium and the largest safety net hospital in New England. In that role, she provides strategic space planning for inpatient, ambulatory and administrative areas and manages the hospital’s system real estate portfolio. She oversees move and transition planning as well as wayfinding, accessibility compliance and furnishings.

This content will not be available until 06/10/2024 at 8:00 AM (EDT)