Mayo Clinic to Study the Health Effects of the Built Environment


Americans spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors—from homes to office or work environments, schools, retail stores, fitness centers, health care facilities, and more—which means exposure to indoor environments is at an all-time high. What many people don’t realize is that these buildings, and everything in them, can affect human health and well-being.

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.