Faculty Scholars


Byron Edwards, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, LEED AP

Professor of Practice
School of Architecture's Architecture+Health Graduate Program
College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Contact: byrone@clemson.edu

Who is Professor Edwards?

Byron Edwards has over 35 years of experience in Healthcare Facilities Planning and Design. He is a certified ACHA Healthcare Architect, and is actively involved in a number of committees for the American Institute of Architect’s Academy of Architecture for Health (AIA/AHA), including the South Atlantic Regional Healthcare Chautauqua and the Research Initiatives Committee, for both of which he is a founding member. He is an affiliate member of the Center for Health Design (CHD) and actively involved with the Knowledge Repository as a reviewer and was appointed to the Research Coalition in 2016. In keeping with his interest in both sustainability and research-based practice, Edwards is a LEED accredited professional and a Certified Evidence-Based Design professional (EDAC).

Since joining the Clemson University Architecture + Health Studio in the spring of 2014, he and his graduate students have been involved with several service projects related to healthcare, including an infirmary and nurse’s residence for Camp Hope, a Prisma Health-sponsored housing and wellness community for Greenville’s frail and elderly, a comprehensive cancer center, conceptual planning for Prisma Health’s Patewood campus, a Maggie Center and Cancer Center, an Adult Mental Health Replacement Facility, and a Acute Rehabilitation Hospital on the Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital Campus as well as a Children’s Residential Care Facility in Greer. In addition to this he and his graduate students have been involved with an orthopedic surgery center, a replacement hospital project for MUSC in Charleston, and a “healthy community” plan for a proposed wellness district and subsequent hospital masterplan for the Watauga Medical Center in Boone, NC. He and his students have also been involved in several other Elder Care facility programming and design projects, most recently a replacement Memory Care “house-hold” village project for Clemson Downs.

To learn more, see his departmental faculty profile.

How is Professor Edwards’ research is transforming health care

Edwards’s interest in research has always been centered in design practice. His graduate thesis, entitled “Birthing Place,” focused on ways to makes environments for healthcare more healing and less frightening for the patients, families, and staff of delivery rooms. For the last 35 years, he has continued to support this vision by advocating for research-based design and chairing the American Institute of Architects’ research initiatives committee to initiate the Case Studies Library. This library allocates funding for award-winning design projects that allow practitioners to learn from each other’s work and promote more timely application of research findings to real-world consulting for the improvement of healthcare systems. As champion of that Case Study Library, Edwards has shepherded over 40 “peer-reviewed” case studies and is now focusing on expanding at AIA/AAH Case Study Library to engage in more rigorous dialogue and research with academics, researchers and planning/design practitioners. He has presented this Case Study benchmarking Library at several conference including the 2019 AIA/AAH SAR Chautauqua on Architecture for Health in Charlotte, NC and the 2019 Health Care Design Symposium in New Orleans, LA; and will be presenting it at the 2021 International Nursing Conference for Excellence in Health Care Design.

Health Research Expertise Keywords

EDAC, Evidence-based design, Research-based design, Case Studies, “bench-marking” and “Rules of Thumb”, Healthy Community planning, Healing environments, Healthcare facilities design, Patient-centered care, Family-centered care, Sustainable environments, Ergonomic design, Ergonomics, Intergenerational and household responses to Elder Care.