Building our health: optimizing human health in architectural design
Given that we spend most of our time indoors- within homes, schools, and offices- it is critical to explore the physical and mental health consequences of how we design and operate buildings. The built environment can both positively and negatively affect our health, both physical and mental. Controllable conditions, such as air quality, daylighting, and potential for movement have an impact on the physical health of occupants. Building features such as the presence of nature and allowance of personal control and space influence the mental health of those who interact with an indoor environment. While designers aim to provide the most functional buildings, it is imperative to utilize strategies that provide the healthiest environments possible. This paper will examine the aspects of building design that make a difference in human health and outline strategies for improvement in both new construction projects and renovations.