Nexus Between Sustainable Buildings and Human Health: A Neuroscience Approach

The building science community, particularly environmental scientists, have rightfully focused their efforts on reducing or eliminating exposures to indoor air contaminants. However, other more subtle but equally deleterious psychological or mental health effect—characterized by mood changes, increased stress, and decreased productivity—have been more difficult to measure consistently and are currently assessed post-occupancy, making remediation highly unlikely. The goal of this research project is to develop, test, and validate a data-driven approach using virtual reality (VR) and electroencephalogram (EEG) technology for assessing the effect of architectural building design features on occupants’ emotional and cognitive functions—proxies for mental health and wellbeing. The project will provide technology-enabled, repeatable measures for quantifying the “soft” benefits of building design features thus providing an economically viable and repeatable assessment model, pre-build.

Semester / Year
Summer 2019 - Summer 2020

Team Members

Program / Center Affiliation