In industrialised countries we spend about 90% of our time indoors. Thus the effects of microenvironments created in buildings are crucial for our health, well-being, learning capability, productivity and creativity. In the 21st century we still face problems with inadequate indoor air quality, dampness, mould growth, thermal discomfort, noise disturbance and uncontrolled spread of airborne diseases. A variety of factors encountered in indoor environments affect us, such as pollution levels, ventilation, humidity, thermal comfort, smell perception, noise, lighting, interior design, performance and design of building systems and envelope, social interaction, work organisation, demands and psychological predispositions.
To enable a holistic approach, this initiative will create a multidisciplinary cooperation centre focused on indoor environments in effort to combine aspects of health and sustainability with special consideration of energy efficiency. The overall goal is to understand how to create sound and sustainable indoor environments to promote human health, well-being, productivity, creativity, development, to address new environmental stressors (due to changing climate) and societal needs (aging population, increased sensitisation and prevalence of disease) while at the same time strive for the sustainable use of resources.
Only multidisciplinary effort of experts from variety of disciplines, covering medical, technical and behavioural aspects, can enable a holistic approach to such demanding and complex challenge. Within this theme, Lund University scientists from faculties of: Engineering, Medicine, Social Sciences, LUCSUS and Malmö University will explore a holistic approach to indoor environmental issues. We aim to bridge different research areas in order to understand the complex interactions taking place in indoor environments and determine which research methods and assessment tools can be used.
The centre's activities will entail think-tanks (exchange, collect and supplement knowledge and best practices), discussion forums, seminars, as well as workshops with invited academic and non-academic experts, having occupants in the focal point.
The center was initiated in 2014 as a project theme "Healthy Indoor Environments" at the Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies during the academic year of 2014 – 2015. The Pufendorf IAS is a transdisciplinary research institute at Lund University, welcoming scholars and scientists from all the faculties to come and work together since 2008.