Dr. Terri Peters
Areas of Specialization
Health and architecture
Environmental simulation for sustainable buildings
Terri Peters has long been interested in the effects of building performance on well-being; but when she lived in Copenhagen, she experienced it firsthand. Design there was different, especially in the medium-rise housing blocks that many, including Peters herself, called home. Instead of the long, dark condos that are typical of North America, balconies facing sunny courtyards were common, as was a focus on hygge, meaning coziness. “In Denmark,” she says, “quality of life is most important.”
It’s important for Peters, too. Much of her research focuses on superarchitecture: where design is driven by what adds to our health, such as wide-open views, good air flow, maximized daylight and access to the outdoors. Here in Canada, Peters wants superarchitecture to play more of a central role. However, as many of these elements are not quantitative—i.e. how do you measure that calm feeling you get from a well-lit room?—there are challenges.
To overcome them, Peters is researching strategies that benefit both our natural environment and our well-being, like appropriate uses of daylight and testing design options via digital simulation. She’s also speaking up at various health-related conferences. “The more architects who advocate, the healthier our buildings will be.”
“Our buildings can make us better—if we let them.”
- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellow 2017
- Peters T, Peters B. Computing the Environment: Digital Design Tools for Simulation and Visualisation of Sustainable Architecture, (Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2018). ISBN: 978-1-119-09789-1
- Peters T, Kesik T, “Daylight Simulation for Multi-Unit Residential Buildings: Occupant-Centered Approaches to Assessment”, eSim: IBPSA-Canada Building Simulation to Support Building Sustainability, Montreal 9-10 May 2018.
- Peters T, (Editor) Special Issue: Design for Health: Sustainable Approaches to Therapeutic Architecture. Architectural Design Series (Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, March/April 2017). ISBN: 978-1-119-16213-1
- Peters T, “Superarchitecture: Building Better Health”, Architectural Design Special Issue: Design For Health: Therapeutic Approaches to Sustainable Architecture (March/April 2017), p. 24-31. doi.org/10.1002/ad.2149, external link
- Peters T, “Social Sustainability in Context: Rediscovering Ingrid Gehl’s Bo-miljø” Architectural Research Quarterly (arq) December 2016 Issue 20 Volume 4, p 371-380. doi.org/10.1017/S1359135516000488, external link
- Registered Architect (ARB), UK 2008-present
- Invited workshop presenter, (2017) “Superarchitecture”, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Interdisciplinary Workshop on Multi-Systemic Resilience, led by Dr Michael Ungar, Johannesburg, South Africa.
- Invited keynote (2017): “Superarchitecture: Daylight and Health” at 5th Active House Symposium Designing for People First, What Comes Second?, Bornholm Denmark. 27-28 September 2017.
- Invited speaker and panellist (2017), Daylight as a Driver for Change, 7th VELUX Daylight Symposium, Berlin, Germany, 3-4 May 2017.
- Invited talk: “Superarchitecture: Building Better Health” at School of Environment Research Day, University of Toronto. April 19 2017