We know that “sick buildings” can threaten our health with poor indoor air quality caused by mold and VOCs, but can our homes and offices also make us well? Mayo Clinic and New York design and technology firm Delos aim to find out with their new collaboration on the Well Living Lab, a modular research lab at Mayo Clinic in Rochester that can be reconfigured to simulate offices, apartments, classrooms, and single-family homes. Researchers will study how factors such as air quality, light, sound, and temperature work together to affect everything from productivity to sleep to mood.
Since we humans spend more than 90 percent of our time indoors, one of the goals of the lab’s research is to collect data and add more evidence in support of WELL Certification—a set of science-backed standards for indoor environments that support health and wellness.
The results of this research will help designers and builders create homes and offices that respond to occupants’ biological rhythms and needs throughout the day. For example, adjustable window tints may let you flood your apartment with natural light in the morning but dim it at naptime. Researchers are also looking at ways to bring the natural world inside, such as through use of living walls that improve air quality, and whether use of nature-inspired shapes and patterns reduces stress and speeds healing from illness or injury.
Read more at welllivinglab.com.
By Mo Perry
Photos courtesy of Well Living Lab