Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group


First Advisor

William Braham


The indoor environment critically affects occupant health and comfort, especially since humans spend most of the day indoors. Meanwhile, occupant activities, preferences, and behaviors may contribute to a significant amount of building energy consumption. The focus of environmental buildings shifted from automated systems to a paradigm of collective environmental design since the second half of the 20th century, emphasizing human dimensions in building performance, which allows occupants to participate as active/passive actuators and sensors. Concurrently, increased environmental awareness further spurred the green building movement intending to encourage more high-performance buildings. The question remains as to whether high-performance buildings are also healthy buildings. This dissertation aims to cast new light on how environmental design and building systems work for people as well as how building sensors and human senses work together to inform the organization and optimization of various performance targets such as sustainability, public health, and resiliency. Special attention is given to the non-visual environment attempting to facilitate human-in-the-loop of the building design and operation processes. In order to achieve this goal, environmental monitoring, data analysis, and human subject recruitments are developed to characterize the human dimension of building performance.

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