Expansion in Purdue University will house a “smart-buildings” lab

Purdue University is expanding the Ray W. Herrick Laboratories. The expanded labs will house the Center for High Performance Buildings, where research is focused on new equipment and operational technologies to develop an understanding of the relationships between indoor environments and human health and productivity and improve future buildings, in terms of safety, sustainability and comfort.
A new “living laboratory” will be designed to simulate a wide range of building environments thanks to moveable walls, doors and windows. Lighting, the acoustic environment, air quality, temperature, humidity, airflow and vibration will be controlled independently and precisely. Around half of the project’s cost (USD 23.5 million) is funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the other half by private donors.
A project report prepared by Purdue and NIST claims that buildings are responsible for roughly 40% of energy use, 71% of electricity consumption and 38% of CO2 emissions in the USA, where people spend typically 90% of their time indoors. According to the report, 20-30% of occupants have health problems related to indoor environments and the economic impact caused by poor indoor environments is estimated to be around USD 200 billion annually in the USA alone.