Building Performance and Human Health


Wood is a porous, natural material that can foster microbes on its surfaces. Many of these are structurally non-destructive and potentially beneficial to occupants which together shape the building’s microbiome to have a non-visual impact on the wellness of occupants. However, building surfaces are potentially also repositories for human-associated microbes, some of which could cause illness. Furthermore, wood appears to buffer indoor humidity, a result that has been shown to support human immune system health. 

Project lead: Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg, UO College of Design


Laboratory testing services for acoustic performance of mass timber floor/ceiling assemblies require large panels to be shipped, assembled, and tested at specialized facilities. This comes at a considerable cost that limits the number of assemblies that can be tested and the number of parties able to pursue acoustic testing.

Project Lead: Institute for Health in the Built Environment

Acoustic testing
field testing


In this project, we aim to identify a small set of newly constructed buildings with mass timber floors and/or walls and test their acoustical performance following ASTM field testing protocols.

Research Team: Kevin Van Den Wymelenburg


In order to address the need for more acoustic data on mass timber assemblies, TDI awarded funding, including part of an EDA grant, to the ESBL in 2018 to conduct acoustic field testing on existing mass timber buildings and ASTM-certified laboratory testing of both dry and wet (concrete-composite) assemblies using CLT and MPP.

Research Team:
Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg, University of Oregon (UO), ESBL
Mark Fretz, UO, ESBL
Dale Northcutt, UO, ESBL

BPHH net zero acoustic testing


The goal of this project is to provide results that will help mass-timber buildings achieve net-zero energy priorities for a larger range of user types and climate zones while also providing new insight into human perception of thermal comfort in mass-timber buildings.

Project Lead: Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg


New research is showing that wood buildings are more likely to harbor environmental microbes with beneficial health effects. This pilot project will study various surface materials in both the lab setting and occupied mass timber buildings to assess effects on occupants’ health and comfort as well as indoor air quality. 

Project Lead: Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg

Mass timber