Building Expansion Evaluation Project (BEEP)

Project Dates: 2014-2016

The Brown Expansion Evaluation Project (BEEP), Brown In Balance, and campus-wide WebMD™ Health Risk Assessment are coalescing at a time when there is growing interest in evidence supporting decisions and dollars being spent on building design and construction, wellness staff, and efforts to improve employee health while also reducing health care costs.

This project assesses the physical activity and sedentary behavior of staff and faculty at the Brown School and the Sam Fox School and aimed to understand the impact of the increased built environment opportunities associated with the addition of Hillman Hall. In addition, the project will evaluate the collaboration and interaction among faculty and staff as well as environmental sustainability behaviors.​

Project Goals

  • Assess physical activity and sedentary behavior among Brown School staff and faculty before and after the completion of Hillman Hall.
  • Assess collaborative behavior and team science among faculty and staff before and after the completion of Hillman Hall.
  • Assess school sustainability efforts before and after the completion of Hillman Hall.

Implications for Research and Practice

Results will yield knowledge regarding the responses of employees who experience changes in their built environment. In this project, these changes occurred to their worksite environment, policies and programs, specifically in regards to design elements (e.g. location of stairs, type of desk, centrally located printers).

Project Contact

Amy Eyler, PhD: aeyler@wustl.edu

Project Staff

Principal Investigators: Amy Eyler, PhD; J. Aaron Hipp, PhD.

Project Manager: Cheryl Valko

Research Assistant: Ramya Ramadas

Project Partners

Nancy Mueller, MPH; Andria West; Leah Nguyen, MPH​; Douglas A. Luke, PhD​; and Andrew Knight, PhD.

Funding Source

  • Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
  • Moore Ruble Yudell Architects and Planners

Related Resources

Building a Healthier Workplace Toolkit

This toolkit serves as a guidebook for groups interested in evaluating how current or new buildings can influence physical movement, collaboration, and sustainability. The toolkit describes eight methods used in the Building Expansion Evaluation Study (BEEP) at Washington University in St. Louis.

Healthy Hillman Infographic

Researchers at the Prevention Research Center in St. Louis conducted a “natural experiment,” to explore the impact of building design before and after the occupation of a new academic building through the Building Expansion Evaluation Project. This infographic summarizes the results from this study.

Valko C, Eyler A. Evaluating Healthy Building Design. The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Annual Meeting. October 2017.

Eyler, A. Urban Planning Seminar. Sam Fox Research Center. January 2017.

Eyler A, Valko C, Hipp JA, Ramadas R. Multiple Methodology Assessment of Workplace Built Environment on Physical Activity. American Public Health Association Annual Meeting. Denver, CO. 2016.

Eyler A, Ramadas RR, Valko CR, Hipp JA. Better Building design for More Collaboration and Better Mental Health. American Public Health Association Annual Meeting. Denver, CO. 2016.(poster)

Eyler A. Creating Healthy Spaces: Evaluating a New Building for Health. Green Building Association. St. Louis, MO. 2016

Eyler A, Matsuno N, Padua N. Healthy Building Design. Society for College and University Planners, Western Regional Conference, Phoenix, AZ. 2016.

Eyler A. The Brown School Expansion Evaluation Project. Buro Happold Engineer and Design. Webinar, January 23, 2017

Eyler A, Hipp JA, Valko C, Ramadas R. The Brown School Expansion Evaluation Project. Moore, Ruble, and Yuddell Architects. Webinar. October 17, 2016.

Hipp JA, Eyler A. Brown Expansion Evaluation Project. Brown School Alumni and Development presentation. 2015.

Eyler AA, Hipp JA, Valko C, Ramadas R, Zwald M. (in press). Can workplace building design influence employee physical activity? J Phys Act. Accepted 11/18/17