TRANSFORMING THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT: A RESEARCH COLLABORATION BETWEEN INDUSTRY AND UNIVERSITY
The University of Oregon Institute for Health in the Built Environment — Industry Consortium aims to dramatically reduce energy consumption and maximize human health by conducting research that transforms the design, construction and operation of built environments. Collaboration between innovative industry professionals and academic researchers in the disciplines of architecture, biology, chemistry, engineering, and urban design provides sharp focus to our research agenda and accelerates the impact of our scientific discoveries.
The University of Oregon’s new Institute for Health in the Built Environment (IHBE)—which leverages the expertise of three research centers in the University of Oregon College of Design—advances, integrates, and applies new knowledge from diverse scientific disciplines to support a healthy, thriving community and planet. Through collaborating with communities, municipalities, and academic and industry partners, the new institute’s mission is to develop design concepts for the realization of healthy and sustainable inhabited space. The three centers that make up the IHBE have a combined four decades of successful sustainability research.
The Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory (ESBL) has established an international position of leadership in the areas of indoor environmental quality, passive design systems, energy efficiency, and integrated design and engineering practices over the past 35 years. The ESBL has helped the University of Oregon’s architecture program and the College of Design (formerly the School of Architecture and Allied Arts) become recognized as a national leader for sustainable design in the United States.
The Biology and Built Environment (BioBE) Center is recognized as an international leader in the emerging field of microbiology of the built environment. This research is beginning to transform our conception of human health, and the role of indoor and outdoor environments in supporting health.
The Baker Lighting Lab supports design and research on natural and artificial lighting systems within the built environment. Building on a rich tradition of evidence-driven sustainable design at the University of Oregon, the Baker Lighting Lab enriches the study of light in architecture by providing physical and digital tools for measurement, simulation, and design exploration. Research areas include the psychological, physiological, and energy-efficient integration of natural and artificial light in buildings. Baker’s dual role as a learning and research lab make it a unique asset to both faculty and students who have an interest in the study of light in architecture.
The Industry Consortium builds on the momentum of the three founding centers of the Institute for Health in the Built Environment to create a dynamic and flexible mechanism for the University of Oregon to engage with industry in joint research and development ventures. The annual event provides intellectual space for the meeting of a wide array of disciplines that play integral roles in fostering improved energy efficiency and health outcomes in the built environment.