Mustafa and Gold investigated how residential design can support telework by interviewing self-employed teleworkers living in France, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The researchers learned that the highest performing teleworkers have a clearly defined and separate space for doing professional work in their homes. This “work space” is desirable even if there is not anyone else at home while they’re working. This finding indicates that dedicated home offices are preferable to multi-function spaces (i.e., work/sleep areas or work/dining spaces) w
Environmental psychologists have, for some time, acknowledged that eye contact plays a role in forming bonds between individuals. New research verifies the impact of eye contact. The study reported here focuses on doctor/patient communication, but is relevant to other contexts, such as conversations in human resource suites or between clients and design teams. Design can make eye contact easier or harder to achieve. Face-to-face communication supports eye contact in ways that electronic communication currently does not. Montague and her team l
Green buildings provide a number of positive benefits for occupants.
Research by the American Institute of Architects has determined that people are shifting their preferences in residential design. Baker reports “Residential architects are reporting more specialized uses of space and the growing interest in special function rooms. Examples include outdoor living spaces, mud rooms, in-law suites, and safe rooms. With more specialized uses of space has come an increased interest in special features, many of which provide greater accessibility for an aging population.
Researchers from McMaster University have found that there’s an evolutionary basis for the nesting done by pregnant women. As reported in a related press release, “The overwhelming urge that drives many pregnant women to clean, organize and get life in order -- otherwise known as nesting -- is not irrational, but an adaptive behaviour stemming from humans' evolutionary past . . . . a result of a mechanism to protect and prepare for the unborn baby . . . .
The National Sleep Foundation recently released the results of its 2013 International Bedroom Poll. Researchers learned that “Roughly nine out of ten in Mexico (92%), Germany (90%) and the United Kingdom (86%) and three fourths in the United States (78%), and Canada (78%) agree they feel more relaxed if their bedroom has a fresh, pleasant scent. Moreover, the majority of nationalities surveyed (65%-79%) agree they take steps to make sure their bedrooms smell the way they want.” These findings indicate the value of installing high quality HVAC systems in bedroom
How does telecommuting influence housing choice? Zhu’s work suggests that “telecommuting (two-worker) households tend to choose locations involving a longer total one-way commute than non-telecommuting households, and this difference is largely due to the longer commute of their telecommuting members.”
Pengyu Zhu. 2013. “Telecommuting, Household Commute and Location Choice.” Urban Studies, vol. 50, no. 12, pp. 2441-2459.
Both homes and healthcare facilities install night lights to help people move through areas after all other lights have been turned off. New research indicates that it is better if those lights use red bulbs instead of white ones. As Nelson, Bedrosian, Vaughn, Galan, Daye, and Weil found in research with hamsters and night lights, “blue light had the worst effects on mood-related measures, followed closely by white light.
Lygum and her team set out to learn more about best practices for the design of outdoor environments at shelters for women and children who have experienced domestic violence. The design recommendations they present include: “safe demarcation, screening off from surroundings, surveillance lighting, and good visual contact between adults and children” to support “protection against perpetrators of violence and helping residents to feel safe;” “activities for adults as well as children of different ages, elements and layout which facilitate tidiness, possibility for ga
In dollars and cents, what is green certification worth? Heinzle, Yip, and Xing found that in the Singapore condominium market “premium buyers would be willing to pay for property certified by the Green Mark Scheme . . . the price premium buyers would be willing to pay for green certification varies within the different levels of the Green Mark Scheme, ranging from 3.78 per cent for the Certified award to 7.98 per cent for the Platinum award.