Despite everything we know about the effects of the indoor environment on the users of buildings, we continue to build homes and offices that are harmful to our health. It is high time for an integrated approach and a curriculum that pays more attention to the problem, says Philomena Bluyssen. On 22 May 2013, the brand-new professor of the Indoor Environment at TU Delft/ The Netherlands delivered her inaugural lecture on this topic.

Prof. dr. ir. P.M. Bluyssen is planning to build a ‘SenseLab’, in which it will be possible to imitate the conditions that affect the indoor environment. “This will allow students and researchers to use their own senses to experience what it’s like to work under a particular type of lighting, continuous noise or drafts from cracks and holes”, explains Bluyssen. This is not to say that the people who use the TU Delft faculty of Architecture are unfamiliar with these conditions.

With her chair, she hopes to realize additions to the curriculum. In short, light, noise and air quality and thermal comfort help to determine whether people feel healthy and comfortable in a building. “The only problem is that we currently approach all of these individual factors primarily from different specializations. We are putting out fires at the component level”, argues Bluyssen. Her research will focus on developing an integrated method and is expected to result in a ‘scenario-oriented risk assessment’ of the built environment.

In late 2009, Bluyssen published the Indoor Environment Handbook: How to make buildings healthy and comfortable. In the United States, this book received the Choice Outstanding Academic Titles Award. A sequel is being published this year, entitled The Healthy Indoor Environment: How to Assess Occupants’ Well-being in Buildings.


REHVA’s Secretary General Jan Aufderheijde congratulates prof. Bluyssen with her inaugural lecture “Healthy indoor environment requires integrated approach”, which was very well welcomed by the audiance.

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