Outside In: Using the Animation of the Weather to Improve Building Occupants’ Well-Being and Raise Awareness of Passive Energy and Rainwater Saving

By Kevin Nute and Aaron Weiss.

Published by The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: October 25, 2016 $US5.00

Natural outdoor environments are known to reduce human stress, but most people in the developed world now spend more than 90 percent of their lives inside buildings, and the most common means of attempting to bring nature indoors—interior planting—is significantly less beneficial to human health than its outdoor equivalent. The work presented here is based on the thesis that this may in part be because indoor plants typically lack a characterizing feature of most outdoor foliage: visible movement. The paper demonstrates how the movements of sunlight, wind and rain can be used to overcome the absence of nature and perceptible change from many indoor environments while at the same time increasing the visibility of important but underused passive energy and rainwater-saving techniques in buildings. Three general design strategies for bringing the movements of the elements indoors without compromising shelter are identified, and their potential intersections with five key passive energy and rainwater-saving techniques are then examined.

Keywords: Weather-Generated Indoor Movement, Building Occupant Well-Being, Passive Energy and Rainwater Saving

The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp.41-56. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: October 25, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.862MB)).

Prof. Kevin Nute

Professor, Department of Architecture, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA

Aaron Weiss

Senior Associate, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, San Francisco, California, USA