ENVR E-119C: High Performance Buildings for Occupant Wellbeing

This course attempts to answer two questions: What makes buildings healthy, comfortable, and productive for their occupants? How can we influence design, construction, and operations to ensure healthy, comfortable, and productive buildings? Students learn about occupants' interaction with light, color, sound, temperature and humidity, toxins and contaminants, plants and nature, and food and water. We review the most recent research in these areas and identify where additional research is needed. We also go through relevant green building standards, codes, and rating systems, including the WELL Building Standard and Fitwel and discuss their applicability, strengths, and weaknesses. Students are introduced to design principles, tools, and techniques for the delivery of healthy, comfortable, and productive facilities. Case studies demonstrate strategies to improve the occupant experience in office buildings, hospitals, schools, and residential buildings. Students leave the class with an understanding of these complex issues and are able to comfortably discuss setting goals and evaluating performance related to the occupant experience.


Nathaniel Gauthier







Course ID: 

  • [Course titles in brackets] indicate that the course is not scheduled to be taught during the 2019-2020 academic year, but may be offered in an alternate year.
  • An asterisk (*) before a course number indicates that a student must obtain the instructor's permission in order to enroll in the course.

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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