PsychEng Seminar 2023 April 11: Prof. Marianne Touchie, U of T MIE/CivMin

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Room 2135, Bahen Centre
40 St. George Street

Speaker: Prof. Marianne Touchie
Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering and Civil and Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto

Title: How do we measure wellbeing? Exploring frameworks and methods for evaluating the impact that buildings have on their inhabitants


When we think about building performance, we often consider metrics such as operating cost, energy consumption and carbon emissions to evaluate our progress towards financial and environmental goals. We may even consider inhabitants’ comfort though, historically, these evaluations were conducted to determine how to increase worker productivity and thereby make more money. While these goals are undeniably important to organizations, buildings are ultimately for people and building performance “improvements” should also be designed to positively influence the people and communities they serve. Through a series of interdisciplinary projects, we have been exploring building performance on a broader scale by considering how buildings impact their inhabitants’ wellbeing. In this seminar, our integrated framework combining environmental, human and cultural elements will be presented along with our suite of assessment approaches including surveys, PhotoVoice, focus groups and indoor environmental quality monitoring.


Marianne Touchie is an Associate Professor jointly appointed in the Departments of Civil & Mineral Engineering, and Mechanical & Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto and Director of the Building Energy and Indoor Environment Lab.

Dr. Touchie’s research team focuses on improving the energy performance and indoor environmental quality of existing buildings to make them more comfortable, healthy and sustainable through comprehensive retrofits. This work includes field monitoring of building energy performance and indoor environmental parameters as well as occupant behaviours and perceptions through surveys. Much of her research has been in the high-rise residential sector and particularly social housing buildings.

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