What is the relationship between indoor environments and people’s ability to achieve their short and long-term goals?

The basis for the research theme

Performance refers to the degree of success people have in carrying out tasks, activities and goals.  While often thought about in terms of athletic and sports activities, it encompasses much more than that. Consider completing schoolwork, work assignments or household chores; preparing meals; taking medications; managing budgets and passing tests. All require us to do something.

Executive functions, based on cognitive psychology and neuroscience research, are the general cognitive processes that underlie performance, making it possible for us to plan and execute our goals. As such, performance encompasses following directions; remembering; expressing yourself; planning, critical and creative thinking and decision making.

The Well Living Lab has developed an app to monitor executive function in its research, related to memory, switching tasks and controlling our automatic responses. Performance evaluation depends upon the task being undertaken and may include measures of speed and accuracy, thoroughness, productivity, results and other metrics.

Desired outcomes from our studies

The Well Living Lab aims to understand the relationship between aspects of the indoor environment and a person’s performance. Through this examination, the lab may uncover ways to alter the built environment to minimize the effects of declining executive function, which typically begins to occur at age 40. This could improve the lives of society’s aging population.

Well Living Lab research studies

  • Acoustic, lighting and thermal conditions in offices and their effects on the health and wellness of adult office workers (ALTCO)
  • Environmental conditions and occupant satisfaction in the workplace: a controlled study in a living lab
  • Impact of daylight and view on performance and productivity
  • Impact of blue-enriched white light on performance and sleep quality
  • Impact of dynamic LED lighting on the well-being and experience of office occupants
  • Sleep quality and microclimates
  • Indoor air quality in subways/skyways
  • Biophilic office design
  • Evaluation of the feasibility of using sensor data-streams and salivary cortisol measurements for the detection of high and low levels of mental stress
  • Aroma dispersion pilot
  • Evaluation of Well Living Lab research capabilities for conducting scent-related research