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 was founded by the Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory, the Biology and the Built Environment Center, and the Baker Lighting at the University of Oregon. We aim to combine industry and municipal built environment stakeholders with researchers to develop new discoveries that can improve human and environmental health through design. We are fortunate to be partnered with several renowned researchers and universities around the nation that provide expertise in biology, chemistry, engineering, and public health.


COVID-19 and the Built Environment

As corporate entities, city, county, state and federal governments around the world take action against the spread of COVID-19, the built environment has been thrust onto center stage with a prominent role. Therefore, the unique expertise of researchers at the...

Remembering GZ Brown

With the recent passing of one of our dearest members, founders and influencers; we are remembering GZ “Charlie” Brown with high regards knowing how much he impacted architecture and everyone around him throughout his life. Specifically, his time here at the...

Sustainable Building Week Event at the Lab

It was a rainy evening here in Portland last night, but we still had a great turn out for our Sustainable Building Week Event here at the White Stag Energy Studies in Buildings Lab! The Institute for Health and the Built Environment Partnered with Oregon State...

Come to the Lab: Innovative Research on Sustainability

IHBE is partnering with Oregon State University and Portland State University to present our research efforts on sustainable design. Join us for our Sustainable Building Week 2019 Event! Come learn the innovative ways in which academia in Portland is advancing...

Our newest publication on chemistry and microbiology in relation to cleaning in the built environment is now available!

IHBE and BioBE published their most recent research, "From one species to another: A review on the interaction of chemistry and microbiology in relation to cleaning in the built environment."

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 occupant Eugene, OR (August 12, 2019) – Today, the University of Oregon published a...
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