|High Performance Office Building, designed by Symbiosis|
The environments people occupy have a significant, direct effect on their health and well-being. The average person in the US and Europe spends around 90% of their time indoors. Current building environments frequently generate illnesses and negatively impact people's health, well-being, and work performance, through Sick Building Syndrome, other Building Related Illnesses, and non-stimulating environments. Poor air quality, toxic materials, and disconnect from natural stimuli such as natural daylight, plants, and local climate conditions are among the contributing factors. In addition, current research by the Biology and Built Environment Center indicates that typical mechanical ventilation strategies meant to improve air quality are having the opposite effect, removing the beneficial bacteria and matter (which generally originate in the natural environment) from the air, and replacing it with detrimental matterincluding human sweat, saliva, and VOC's.