Designing to Engage Users in Sustainable Buildings

Thumbnail Image


Publication or External Link





This thesis is an investigation of how buildings can be designed to encourage pro-environmental behavior by engaging users in a sustainable built environment. By engaging users in sustainability building design can reestablish a cultural understanding of humanity’s interdependence with the natural environment. The basis for investigation is a brief analysis of how cultural perceptions of the natural environment have changed over time and an understanding of what motivates pro-environmental behavior. Understanding of the types of work done and spaces used by building occupants throughout a work day informs opportunities for user engagement in the production, consumption, recycling and monitoring of energy, water and waste. Insights revealed through this research culminate in a design proposal for an office building that integrates user engagement with sustainable building performance and puts us on a path toward cultural transition to sustainable behavior and symbiosis with the natural environment.