The ESBL is proud and excited to join BioBE and the Baker Lighting Labas the founding centers of the University of Oregon’s new Institute for Health in the Built Environment! Through interdisciplinary, inter-institutional collaboration, the IHBE aims to support the development of healthy, sustainable buildings and cities for people and the environment.
“The new institute’s mission is to develop design concepts for the realization of healthy and sustainable inhabited space. Faculty researchers aim to do this by forming unconventional collaborations to conduct research where architecture, biology, medicine, chemistry, and engineering intersect, and then translate their findings into design practice with the involvement of a consortium of invested industry partners.”
Read the College of Design’s launch announcementhere, and learn more about the new Institute here.
How do you illustrate the microbiome of bacterial, fungal and viral communities to architects, engineers and building equipment manufacturers? You commission an artist! During the events of Health and Energy Research Consortium, Morgan Maiolie was busy with a brush set to canvas. Associate Professor, and director Van Den Wymelenberg notes “We really wanted to find a way to bring the microbiome to life for the diverse consortium guests, so we decided to invite an artist to complete a live painting that responded to the research presentations. Morgan Maiolie did an excellent job understanding and translating our scientific findings into her painting. She made the microbiome vibrant and tangible!”
Morgan describes her inspiration, “The team of research scientists at the Biology and Built Environment Center and Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory have illuminated the world of living, breathing bacteria swirling in the air around us and this piece visualizes that invisible world. The researchers made me aware of the key role building design plays in shaping our indoor microbiome. Buildings can act as filters, petri dishes, and wind tunnels. I wanted the painting to conceptually reveal how bacteria might move into and through a building based on its architecture, systems, and inhabitation.”
To learn more about Maolie and her work, please visit her website: maiolie.com.
Humans spend most of their time indoors, exposed to bacterial communities found in dust. Understanding what determines the structure of these communities may therefore have relevance for human health. Light exposure in particular is a critical building design consideration and is known to alter growth and mortality rates of many bacterial populations, but the effects of light on the structure of entire dust communities are unclear.
We performed a controlled microcosm experiment designed to parse the effects of filtered solar radiation on the structure of dust microbial communities.
We report that exposure to light per se has marked effects on community diversity, composition and viability, while variation in light dosage or particular wavelengths experienced are associated with nuanced changes in community structure. Our results suggest that architects and lighting professionals designing rooms with more or less access to daylight may play a role in shaping bacterial communities associated with indoor dust.
One of the key topics discussed at the Health Energy Research Consortium was natural daylight and its relevance to healthy living and working environments. Amir Nezamdoost, UO architecture PhD and ESBL graduate research fellow, presented his current research on overlit spaces and the human factor associated with blinds operation.
Daylighting is a common energy-efficiency strategy that also boasts a myriad of other human benefits (Reinhart & Selkowitz, 2006; Van Den Wymelenberg, 2014). Successful daylighting design that saves energy and improves human satisfaction incorporates many technologies, spans several disciplines, and requires attention throughout the design process. Blinds are quite common in spaces designed for daylighting (HMG PIER Review, 2012; Nezamdoost & Van Den Wymelenberg, 2016, 2017), since almost any daylighting design will bring with it some period of low angle sunlight, causing intermittent glare and requiring mitigation.
Moreover, with the latest published version LEED (v4), a greater emphasis is now being placed on implementation of glare control devices in buildings to protect occupants from sunlight exposure and subsequent glare and thermal stress.
Blind position and operation affect the amount and distribution of daylight entering a building as well as all forms of thermal transfer through windows. Daylight-sensing lighting control holds the potential to save significant energy, however, realized savings are reduced if window blinds are closed. Blinds have the potential to reduce cooling energy and peak cooling demand, especially if located outside of the thermal envelope. Effective daylight-sensing lighting controls can also reduce cooling loads by minimizing waste heat from lights. However, these potential impacts cannot be determined without accurate manual blind models.
Recent studies conducted by Nezamdoost and Van Den Wymelenberg, show that current manual blind use candidates are too active and behave like an automated shading system. Overall, in order to develop a reliable manual blind use pattern for future use in simulation broadly, and energy codes, and daylighting standards specifically, additional human factors and post occupancy research of manual blind use in real buildings is needed.
Reinhart, C. & Selkowitz, S., (2006). Daylighting—Light, form, and people. Energy and Buildings, 38(7), pp.715–717.
Heschong Mahone Group (2012). Daylight Metrics – PIER Daylighting Plus Research Program, California Energy Commission.
Nezamdoost, A., & Van Den Wymelenberg, K. (2016). SENSITIVITY STUDY OF ANNUAL AND POINT-IN-TIME DAYLIGHT PERFORMANCE METRICS: A 24 SPACE MULTI-YEAR FIELD STUDY. IBPSA-USA Journal, 6(1).
Nezamdoost, A., & Van Den Wymelenberg, K. G. (2017). Revisiting the Daylit Area: Examining Daylighting Performance Using Subjective Human Evaluations and Simulated Compliance with the LEED Version 4 Daylight Credit. LEUKOS, 13(2), 107-123.
Van Den Wymelenberg, K. G. (2014) Visual Comfort, Discomfort Glare, and Occupant Fenestration Control: Developing a Research Agenda, LEUKOS: The Journal of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, 10:4,207-221
Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory
103 Pacific Hall
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-5231
105A White Stag Building
70 NW Couch Street
University of Oregon
Portland, OR 97209