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.

Find out more about our staff, student researchers, and collaborators.



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