Purpose Built: Introducing the Purpose Built Series: Knowledge and tools for people who fund, lead, and evaluate capital projects

Jan 1, 2014

In recent years, the building sector has turned its attention to creating tools to better plan and design for impact, as evidenced by the growing popularity of the United States Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. However, the current suite of evaluation tools typically focus on measuring one type of outcome -- for example, assessing outputs related to environmental or economic impact, or monitoring the wellness of building occupants. There are marked gaps in the sector related to the ability to track and assess the social, mission-based, and holistic impacts that buildings can have on organizations and their stakeholders. Additionally, there is relatively little effort to capture and share lessons that can inform others as they plan, carry out, and operate capital projects. In response to this need, two funders -- The Atlantic Philanthropies and the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation -- engaged MASS Design Group to conduct research exploring the impact of the built environment, and to seek lessons with relevance to those considering or conducting capital projects.