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Living Labs: Building a Better Building


Reconfigurable lighting, chilled beams, and ceiling systems


Double facades


Mechanical room with individualized air handlers

At Herrick Labs, the building is the laboratory.

Herrick Labs is a LEED-Gold certified building, where more than 1,000 sensors monitor everything about the environment, from the speed of the ventilation fans to the temperature of the drinking fountains. Not only does this enable highly precise measurements of energy and efficiency, but they allow for experiments in human comfort and interaction. Foremost in this effort are the Living Labs: four identical 34' x 37' office spaces where every environmental factor can be carefully controlled, compared, and studied.

  • Temperature of each space can be individually controlled between 55°F and 85°F
  • Relative humidity can be altered between 20% and 80%
  • Thermal delivery can be supplied from the ceiling, floor, or side walls -- including radiant floor heating and radiant chilled beam cooling
  • Double facades allow experiments with windows, ventilation, and levels of natural light
  • Acoustic treatments allow noise and comfort experiments
  • Airflow patterns can be customized

Your comfort is our concern.

Because students and staff actually work in these spaces (up to 96 of them), the Living Labs have built-in test subjects on the fields of human comfort, ergonomics, and productivity.  Do higher levels of natural light increase satisfaction?  Are people happier at different levels of humidity?  We can find out.

The Living Labs also provide a unique space to safely study aerosol elements like bacteria, fungi, pollen, and suspended skin cells from clothing or furniture.

It's the ultimate laboratory for human-building interactions.

Herrick Labs  •  177 S. Russell St., West Lafayette, IN 47907-2099  •  (765) 494-2132  •  herricklabs@purdue.edu