Putting people's wellbeing at the heart of building design
“Architecture is ultimately all about improving peoples’ wellbeing. As we move toward a more complex and interconnected world, a much more open and collaborative approach is needed between architects, designers, infrastructure investors and the people who use buildings to maximise the potential of people and property.”

Our Research

Atkins has produced a study on the relationship between wellness and productivity – the underlying data research was conducted by researchers from Imperial College London in partnership with Atkins, and seeks to examine how human-centred design can promote improved health and wellbeing with spin-off benefits in terms of greater productivity.

The economic benefits  

Atkins is committed to creating buildings & environments that are thoughtful, sustainable and challenge convention. Our approach to design research supports this commitment through innovation, unique research insights & the application of advanced technology.

Understanding the student  

Applied research is a core component of our design approach across all sectors we work within. None more important than the Education sector and in particular higher education institutions, for which the drivers influencing design, delivery and maintenance of campuses are broad and in constant flux.

Psychology of Space  

Working with the Department of Psychology and Crossmodal Cognition Lab to investigate psychological responses to space

Our Approach

Our Human-Centred Design solution is an innovative engagement and design process focused on the most important aspect of any building – the people that occupy it. It helps clients and building users make early, informed design decisions to improve wellbeing, energy efficiency and costs.


Combined views of nature & daylighting can improve productivity & absenteeism up to 6.5%. (Ihab M.K. Elzeyadi, 2011)


6% reduction in measured stress by improving social cohesion in the workplace through layout design. (Pilot study for Bank of America: Waber B.(2013) )


Mental health problems cost UK Employers £26 billion each year.(CIPD factsheets 2015)

570k hrs

570,000 hours lost per year due to workplace absences linked to poor building design in UK. (Jon Guest, Economic Study - Atkins, 2016)

Our Work

Our Human-Centred Design solution is helping a number of our clients and their building users to put wellbeing at the heart of their building design. We offer this both as part of a full multidisciplinary design team and as a standalone service.
Bournemouth University

We’re working with Bournemouth University to bring together staff and students from the Faculty of Health and Social Science, currently located in disparate facilities around the campus, in a new gateway building which embodies health and wellbeing.

University of Glasgow

We are using Our Human-Centred Design solution to gain a deeper understanding of the aspirations and priorities of the wide range of people that will be using a new facility to support both teaching and research environments for student and staff from three different faculties at the University of Glasgow.

Lime Tree Primary Academy

Lime Tree Primary Academy brings a new way of teaching and learning that blends indoor and outdoor learning in new and exciting ways

Our People

Meet our Human-Centred Design team who are helping clients put wellbeing at the heart of their buildings

Caroline Paradise

Head of Design Research

Helen Groves

Architect Director

Ruth Hynes

Senior Design Researcher

Our Views


Work plays an influential role on our lives, and the quality of working environments can have considerable impact on our health and wellbeing.


Caroline Paradise discusses the factors to consider when making the right design decisions.


Caroline Paradise on the importance of movement to our health and how designers can shape our world to encourage more active lifestyles.
Contact Information

Atkins Human-Centred Design

Atkins | Nova North, 11 Bressenden Place, Westminster, London SW1E 5BY

+44 (0)20 121 2000 | info.HCD@atkinsglobal.com

Group company registration details are available via the link below