Environmental psychology and sustainability in high-rise structures

Richard Wener, Hannah Carmalt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper addresses the human elements of sustainable design in urban high-rise buildings. While a number of technical developments have allowed for the minimization of resource consumption, little research has addressed the response of occupants to such facilities, or the degree to which success in reaching sustainability goals is dependent on user behavior. This paper reviews research in related areas and suggests ways in which social, psychological and behavioral issues may be important to sustainable design, as well as how ways attending to psychological needs can improve the success of meeting these and other goals. Social psychological and applied behavior analytical approaches are reviewed as ways to respond to conservation and recycling goals. The psychological and physiological benefits that green buildings confer on their occupants are also addressed, as are areas for future research, and steps that the building industry can take to develop more holistic and sustainable building practices that incorporate occupant behavioral needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-167
Number of pages11
JournalTechnology in Society
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2006


  • Biophilia
  • Conservation behavior
  • Green buildings
  • Productivity
  • Sustainable behavior
  • Sustainable high-rises

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Business and International Management
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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