The American College of Healthcare Architects Announces Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

November 19, 2019

The American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA) has announced that David Allison, FAIA, FACHA is the recipient of the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed by the College. It is conferred by the national ACHA Board of Regents in recognition of a significant body of work of lasting influence on the theory and practice of healthcare architecture.

As Alumni Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Director of Graduate Studies in Architecture + Health at Clemson University, David has guided the program to prominence within higher education, building on the shoulders of the late educational pioneer George C. Means, Jr., FAIA.  Research studies in which David has participated span from new concepts in patient room design to analysis of space grossing factors. 

Allison is a Founding Member of the College.  His professional organization contributions include current service on the ACHA Board of Regents, and past leadership in the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health Board, the Academy Foundation.  In addition, for more than ten years, David has led the annual Architecture + Health Educators Summit, at which he chairs a major roundtable meeting for all U.S. healthcare architecture programs to exchange ideas and advance the quality of education. 

In 1990, when Frank Zilm, D.Arch, FAIA, FACHA and the late Arthur N. Tuttle, Jr. had developed the concept of a student design charrette, they approached David, the then newly appointed as Director of Graduate Studies in Architecture + Health, to help initiate this idea.  He led and established the AIA/AAH Steris Student Design Charrette as one or the most successful components of Academy meetings, and the successors of the early charrette program have continued to thrive at both major annual national meetings for decades.

David’s affirmation of this award comes by unanimous recommendation by the ACHA Past Presidents Council and unanimous approval by ACHA Board of Regents.


Allison is one of only 17 luminary healthcare architects who have won this prestigious honor. Other recipients include:  D. Kirk Hamilton, PhD, FAIA, FACHA, Ronald Skaggs, FAIA, FACHA and Armand Burgun, FAIA, FACHA. 


The American College of Healthcare Architects Board Certification is the only recognized specialty certification by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for architects who specialize in healthcare design and want to showcase their advanced competency in the field.  Additionally, the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) of the American Hospital Association (AHA) actively advocates ACHA Board Certification as the premier credential recognizing excellence in health care architectural design.


To learn more about ACHA Board Certification and qualifications, visit

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