Comfort & Productivity

Chartwell School puts students first with an emphasis on natural daylighting and other passive comfort strategies.

Photo: Michael David Rose


The days of the windowless box are over!

Why? Because investing in the humans who live, work, play, and heal in our buildings is one of the most cost-effective green design strategies there is. It’s also just common sense: buildings aren’t here for their own sake; they’re here for us.

These resources look at rigorous scientific data on the value of comfort. They also present strategies for focusing on the human element of design and construction—without ever forgetting the importance of conserving water and energy.

  • Innovative Products and Technology from the Greenbuild Expo
    December 30, 2013

    Feature Article

    Our product editors pick some winners from the expo floor at Greenbuild 2013 while raising questions about some materials.

  • Designing for the Next Century's Weather
    September 30, 2013

    Feature Article

    How do you create a climate-responsive building in a changing climate? Brand new modeling techniques are helping us figure it out.

  • Getting Flame Retardants Out of Foam Insulation
    December 31, 2012

    Feature Article

    In an effort to eliminate the use of halogenated flame retardants, building code changes are being proposed by a group of fire experts, architects, chemists, and environmentalists.

  • The Hidden Science of High-Performance Building Assemblies
    October 26, 2012

    Feature Article

    Any four walls and a roof make an enclosure, but for efficiency, comfort, and durability, those elements have to be meticulously designed and installed.

  • Doing Daylighting Right
    March 26, 2012

    Feature Article

    Harvesting daylight is a popular way to save energy and promote productivity. But getting it wrong is all too easy-and can have the opposite effects.

  • Well-being at Work Comes from Good Design
    February 5, 2018

    News Brief

    Top-notch design enhanced well-being at work in this ASID study of workplace extremes.

  • Collecting Stories to Improve Design
    January 5, 2018

    News Brief

    New study describes the value of occupant stories in evaluating high-performance buildings.

  • Acoustic Ecology: Designing for the Ear
    September 6, 2017


    By engaging our sense of hearing, and our sonological competence, design can improve our ability to listen to and know the places we inhabit.

  • Overcooled Offices Impair Thinking
    March 20, 2017

    News Brief

    New research shows a warmer setpoint combined with personal fans saves energy while maintaining occupant comfort and performance levels in tropical climates.

  • Neuroarchitecture: Thinking with Our Buildings
    March 8, 2017


    Can the fields of cognitive science and neuroscience improve the built environment? Those studying neuroarchitecture think so.