The Healthy Indoor Environment

How to assess occupants' wellbeing in buildings

By Philomena M. Bluyssen

© 2014 – Routledge

466 pages | 130 Color Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415822756
pub: 2013-11-12
US Dollars$89.95

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Despite policy directives, standards and guidelines, indoor environmental quality is still poor in many cases. The Healthy Indoor Environment aims to help architects, building engineers and anyone concerned with the wellbeing of building occupants to better understand the effects of spending time in buildings on health and comfort. In three clear parts dedicated to mechanisms, assessment and analysis, the book looks at different indoor stressors and their effects on wellbeing in a variety of scenarios with a range of tools and methods.

The book supports a more holistic way of evaluating indoor environments and argues that a clear understanding of how the human body and mind receive, perceive and respond to indoor conditions is needed. At the national, European and worldwide level, it is acknowledged that a healthy and comfortable indoor environment is important both for the quality of life, now and in the future, and for the creation of truly sustainable buildings. Moreover, current methods of risk assessment are no longer adequate: a different view on indoor environment is required.

Highly illustrated and full of practical examples, the book makes recommendations for future procedures for investigating indoor environmental quality based on an interdisciplinary understanding of the mechanisms of responses to stressors. It forms the basis for the development of an integrated approach towards assessment of indoor environmental quality.


The author of this book does not start from the more conventional points of departure, like the possibilities provided by new theories or technologies, nor does the book start from the most problematic aspects in assessing Indoor Environmental Quality. It starts were it should start: with people, us building occupants. Occupants are put central in this multi-disciplinary quest on how to analyse and assess IEQ in order to ameliorate conditions in buildings. From this perspective it gives an overview of all possible approaches. Therefore it is highly recommended to everyone interested in how to assess occupants’ well-being in buildings. Professor Mieke Oostra, Hanzehogeschool Groningen University of Applied Sciences

'Everybody' knows that in some buildings we feel good and in others we do not. We know a lot about the determinants of indoor environment, and yet we are unable to predict which buildings we will thrive in. Professor Bluyssen’s book offers a not-so-common occupant-centric point of view. In nine well-documented chapters, the reader is lead through the background of the various disciplines needed to understand indoor environment. All this wealth of information is accompanied by contextual glimpses and a personal touch, conveying the passion with which the book was conceived and executed. Enjoyable reading, all the time reminding us that 'our' scientific discipline lives in a wider context, and that after all, buildings are built for people, not the other way round. Dr Alena Bortonava, Center for Ecology and Economics at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research

I found The Healthy Indoor Environment a fascinating and informative volume, from which I have learned much about the investigation of buildings and their effects on occupant well-being. Its (intentional) focus on well-being as opposed to task performance means that it speaks primarily to occupational health rather than ergonomics in the broadest sense of the term…Denham Phipps, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Table of Contents

Preface List of Symbols, Acronyms and Abbreviations Part 1: Mechanisms 1. Human model 2. Bodily Processes 3. Stress Response Mechanisms Part 2: Assessment 4. Indicators 5. Research Methods and Analysis 6. Data Collection Techniques Part 3: Analysis 7. Needs and Opportunities 8. Performance Indicators 9. Scenarios Annex A Questionnaires Annex B Checklists Annex C Indicators References Index

About the Author

Philomena M. Bluyssen started as a full Professor of Indoor Environment at the Delft University of Technology in 2012 after more than two decades working for TNO in Delft, The Netherlands. She has written more than 170 publications and won the Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Titles of 2010 for the Indoor Environment Handbook (also published by Earthscan from Routledge).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Construction / General