Avera Behavioral Health Center: A 5-Year Post Occupancy Study

In 2006, the Avera Behavioral Health Center opened in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with the goal of creating mental health care that would be safe and secure, respectful and dignified, have a sense of spirituality, and be world-class.

In the five years since, Avera has succeeded in meeting and even exceeding many of their initial goals, and most spaces are functioning as intended. With that success, the staff, leaders, and the design team are asking questions that can help them improve upon the strategies and care to continue meeting the needs of patients and staff. However, space-use issues created by rapid program growth have resulted in challenges in the day-to-day work of the staff. The objective to meet the growing demand is presenting opportunities for innovation in the delivery of care beyond the Avera Behavioral Health Center.