Researchers from the University of Toronto are investigating how building, common area and classroom and office features on campus impact graduate studen comfort and wellbeing.
The University of Toronto is undertaking deep energy retrofits in buildings across campus to meet its aggressive greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. Through this process, the University has an opportunity to leverage their significant financial investment in retrofits to concurrently improve wellbeing and inhabitant satisfaction on campus. Thus, this project involves the development and piloting of a new holistic campus building performance assessment framework and accompanying metrics which integrate economic, environmental and social objectives. With the pilot, we endeavor to establish a relationship between inhabitant wellbeing and building environmental performance and features, a significant gap in building performance research.
After establishing the wellbeing assessment framework, the assessment approach will be piloted in 2-4 campus buildings, focusing on graduate student space. The approach will include a combination of inhabitant surveys; indoor environmental quality (IEQ) monitoring using building automation system (BAS) data; collection of perceived IEQ data through periodic right-here, right-now smartwatch surveys; and a technique called Photovoice which we will use to prompt respondents to take photos of aspects of the campus-built environment that add to or detract from their wellbeing.
Anticipated outcomes of this project include: an understanding of the current state of wellbeing in selected U of T built environments; recommendations for retrofit and new building design processes to improve campus wellbeing through changes to building performance and features; and streamlined data collection and analysis so that it can be deployed more broadly for assessment of student/faculty/staff wellbeing in the campus built environment.
Morgan, G. T., Coleman, S., Robinson, J. B., Touchie, M. F., Poland, B., Jakubiec, A., Macdonald, S., Lach, N., & Cao, Y. “Wellbeing as an emergent property of social practice”. Buildings and Cities, (2022) 3(1), pp. 756–771. doi:10.5334/bc.262
Lach, N., McDonald, S., Coleman, S., Touchie, M.F., Robinson, J., Morgan, G., Poland, B., Jakubiec, A. “Community Wellbeing in the Built Environment: Towards a Relational Building Assessment,” Cities and Health. (2022) doi:10.1080/23748834.2022.2097827
Dr. John Robinson
Dr. Alstan Jakubiec
Dr. Blake Poland
Project Manager (BEIE Lab)
Post Doctoral Fellow