How do you create healthy and comfortable buildings? With that question in mind, Professor Philomena Bluyssen created the SenseLab, where she recreates the conditions that affect the indoor environment.
A bad indoor environment can be the cause of many diseases and disorders. Poor air quality in offices is known to have a negative effect on the performance of employees.This phenomenon is known as ‘sick building syndrome’ and goes beyond only the air quality. Light, noise, materials and thermal comfort are all part of the indoor climate that can affect health.
But what are the related illnesses? These are legion. Think of stress related complaints, caused by aspects such as low-frequency noise, or COPD and lung cancer resulting from bad indoor conditions. Plastic can cause hormonal imbalance, and even obesity can be associated with a poor indoor climate.
Bluyssen’s research focuses on an integrated method to prevent these illnesses. Apart from looking at the buildings themselves, she is also looking at how people in the buildings behave and what they are doing. These aspects are not always taken into account at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, and she wants to introduce this to the engineering students.
After more than 20 years of research on the indoor environment at TNO, she started working at TU Delft in 2013. Now, after five years, she’s been appointed honorary member of the International Society of Indoor Quality and Climate. Her SenseLab is doing its work and has the facilities to change lighting, sound, smells and temperature and test these on children, teenagers and adults.
Watch the video to see how it works!