Institute For Health

in the Built Environment



In the developed world we spend 90% of our lives – and 40% of the total energy we consume – in buildings. Decisions we make about how buildings are designed, constructed and managed have significant implications for our own health, and for the health of our planet. The Institute for Health in the Built Environment advances, integrates, and applies new knowledge from diverse scientific disciplines to support a healthy, thriving community and planet.

Our mission is to develop new design concepts for the realization of healthy and sustainable inhabited space. We do this by forming unconventional collaborations that conduct research where architecture, biology, medicine, chemistry and engineering intersect and translate it into design practice through a consortium of invested industry partners.  Our understanding of what a “healthy building” constitutes – from its complex microbiome, its chemistry, its provision of light and air, and its energy and carbon footprint – is fragmented, underdeveloped, and too often not reflected in practice. The Institute for Health in the Built Environment pursues an integrated approach to conducting and applying research so that every building provides health in the full sense of the word.


IHBE is the brainchild of the BioBE Center and the Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory at the University of Oregon. We aim to combine experts within the building and health industries with researchers at universities and businesses, leading to new discoveries that  can improve health and better the understanding of environmental design. We are fortunate to be partnered with several prestigious institutes around the nation that provide expertise in biology, chemistry, engineering, and public health.

Recent News

University of Oregon Publishes White Paper on Light, Views, and the Workplace Experience

The white paper, “The Impact of Lighting and Views in the Workplace of the Future,” explores how light and the visual environment impact performance, comfort, and satisfaction of the occupantEugene, OR (August 12, 2019) – Today, the University of Oregon published a...

Check Out Our Recent Publication on Indoor Microbiology

Read our newest publication, "Building upon current knowledge and techniques of indoor microbiology to construct the next era of theory into microorganisms, health, and the built environment."

Interview with Founding Consortium Member, SRG

We sat down with founding Consortium Member, SRG, to discuss their firm, passions, projects and their ongoing efforts to design for energy efficiency and health.Who is SRG? SRG Partnership, Inc. is an award-winning, 75-person design firm providing programming,...

Prof. Van Den Wymelenberg Testifies in Congress on Healthy Buildings

Professor Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg went to Capitol Hill today to testify before the transportation committee about healthy buildings, building resilience and energy conservation, arguing that additional metrics to explore non-energy benefits will make federal...

Welcome Hickok Cole: Designing For What’s Next

The Institute is excited to introduce Hickok Cole, our newest Consortium Member. Hickok Cole is a forward-focused design practice firm, connecting bold ideas, diverse expertise, and partners with a vision: to do work that matters. Hickok Cole works on projects from...

Metropolis: Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg on Increasing Demands for Lighting Controls

Director Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg's interview with Retrofit for Metropolis magazine is published! He is one of a series of experts sharing their insight on the importance of daylighting for human health and comfort.Check out the article...
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