Chelsea M. Wheeler

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-2016




architecture, health, residence, occupant health, daylighting




Architectural Technology | Cultural Resource Management and Policy Analysis | Other Architecture | Urban, Community and Regional Planning


A public need for improved health has called into question the manner in which one's built environment has the ability to affect a person's health and well-being. Recent studies have revealed a correlation between health and residence, suggesting that the built environment has a significant influence on occupant health and well-being. As a result of such studies, Delos Living, a well-building consulting firm, has proposed a set of deign standards that can be used to promote occupant health. The problem with such methods is that there are processes of certification relying primarily on post-deign evaluations. This thesis seeks to align itself with Delos' WELL Building Standards through the development of a schematic deign process that can be use alongside the WELL Building Standards in order to promote wellness during the initial stages of design.

This propose schematic deign process utilizes nine elements of health, which address the physical, social, and mental components of occupant well-being. These elements can be understood as three categories of interrelated elements with associated design principles:

1) Daylight, fresh air, and vegetation

2) Nutrition, physical activity, and community

3) Medical need, alertness, and occupant satisfaction

Each Design should focus on the elements that are most important to site-specific demographic needs. As such, this thesis contends that if occupant health is placed at the forefront of deign, utilizing a deign approach that selects and addresses two or three of the nice proposed elements of health based on demographic mapping in a spatial/human-centric manner during the initial stages of design, the resulting architecture will promote occupant well-being.

This thesis focuses primarily on the visual and non-visual effects of daylighting by juxtaposing the benefits of daylighting on occupant health with architectural design strategies. The proposed process of deign is then utilized in conjunction with these bestfound design strategies for daylighting to redesign Blodgett Middle School to that of the original structure and an exemplary WELL certified building, the CBRE Headquarters in LA, through daylight simulations prepared using DIVA for Rhino.


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