Possibilities for user-centric and participatory design in modular health care facilities

Marjaana Lahtinen*, Pia Sirola, Antti Peltokorpi, Leena Aalto, Riikka Kyrö, Heidi Salonen, Virpi Ruohomäki, Kari Reijula

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Many of today’s health care facilities are outdated and no longer efficiently support processes. The various development trends in changing health care services seem to support more frequent use of modular facilities. Modular facilities and their development, however, face the challenge of combining a customized, user-centric design for special customer needs with the rapid delivery of prefabricated facilities. The aim of this case study was to discuss the possibilities for and development needs of user-centric and participatory design in modular health care facilities. The results showed that due to time pressure, end-user involvement in design was rather low and applied participatory tools were limited. The prefabricated solutions set restrictions for planning, and compromises concerning the usability of the work environment had to be made. However, the end-users found the premises quite satisfactory. The study highlights the need to develop agile participatory design methods that are suitable for tight-scheduled modular construction. Since user participation in the workspace design of modular facilities encounters several challenges, the producers should also utilize user-centric knowledge from other sources. Systematic post-occupational follow up and evaluation of user experience, as well as utilization of evidence-based knowledge are important for the continuous improvement of the quality of modular buildings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-114
Number of pages15
JournalIntelligent Buildings International
Issue number2
Early online date28 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • health care
  • Modularity
  • participatory design
  • usability
  • well-being
  • work environment


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