Analyzing User Costs in a Hospital: Methodological Implication of Space Syntax to Support Whole-Life Target Value Design

Youngchul Kim1 & Hyun Woo Lee2

1Ph. D. Candidate in Architecture, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan, 2000 Bonisteel Boulevard, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2069, Phone +1 734/272-5905, FAX 734/763-2322,
2Graduate Student Researcher, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, University of California, Berkeley, Phone +1 510/715-0175,


Determining user costs in healthcare facilities is an emerging issue. Users – patients, staff, nurses and physicians – experience and move about corridors, hallways and rooms of a hospital, and the spatial configuration has a significant correlation to users’ experience in the facility. This paper investigates methodological implication of Space Syntax to Whole-life Target Value Design (TVD) by investigating user costs in the design of healthcare facilities. Investigating design alternatives using Space Syntax allows an effective user cost analysis to support Whole-life TVD. Three hypothetical hospital ward design alternatives are evaluated: deep-plan type, shallow-plan type and courtyard-plan type. Space Syntax assures valid results of spatial analysis in relation to users’ movement in the built environment. This approach also allows designers to visually compare design alternatives relating to space planning during set-based design. This spatial analysis helps reduce user costs by enhancing user productivity and reducing security dead spots – areas that lack visual supervision. Results of spatial configuration analysis are used to determine the best value design among the three alternatives with regards to the user costs. This paper also demonstrates how designers can benefit from Space Syntax as an effective visual representation tool for set-based design.


Hospital, user cost, Whole-life Target Value Design, Space Syntax, set-based design



Kim, Y. & Lee, H.W. 2010, 'Analyzing User Costs in a Hospital: Methodological Implication of Space Syntax to Support Whole-Life Target Value Design' In:, Walsh, K. & Alves, T., 18th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Haifa, Israel, 14-16 Jul 2010. pp 93-102

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