MTSU professor designs homes, businesses with heal...

MTSU professor designs homes, businesses with health in mind

An MTSU interior design professor is designing a healthier way to create commercial and residential interiors.

Dr. Janis Brickey

After undergoing rigorous study, Dr. Janis Brickey of the Department of Human Sciences now can lay claim to being a “WELL”-accredited professional.

The designation from the International WELL Building Institute, also known as WBI, means Brickey is now a certified expert in ensuring human health and wellness in manmade environments.

The examination Brickey passed tested her knowledge of cross-disciplinary standards for air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, mind and comfort in offices and homes.

WELL Accredited Professional logoBrickey explained that the field of interior design is evolving rapidly with research and technology. Building upon her own field experiences, she has passed other certifications for interior design professional standards, evidence-based design and sustainability. She uses her experiences to prepare students for future certifications.

Brickey said she appreciates how the special training includes information from health, medical and scientific research.

“That kind of evidence-based design means that there’s a lot of different people at the table very early on,” said Brickey.

The environmental movement’s impact on the need for clean air and water has led, in part, to a new enlightenment about internal climates that promote healthy lifestyles.

Brickey said there also are pragmatic, bottom-line reasons for businesses to invest in WELL building philosophies.

“You reduce turnover,” said Brickey. “You reduce health care costs, and you reduce the implications for mistakes in the workplace if you have environments that are well-designed.”

Click on the graphic to visit the International WELL Building Institute website.

Brickey said she will use the wealth of her newfound knowledge in enhancing classroom teaching and experiential learning for her students.

“It’s not that we’re changing behaviors, but we’re enhancing the good behaviors,” said Brickey.

The International Well Building Institute is a “public benefit corporation that is leading the movement to promote health and wellness in buildings and communities everywhere,” according to the organization’s website at

The WELL Building Standard, launched in October 2014 after six years of research and development, is the first building standard to focus exclusively on the health and wellness of people in buildings, interior spaces and communities.

— Gina K. Logue (