Taking care of the people inside our buildings and creating health-focused spaces is now one of the most pressing needs. We need to create safe spaces that don’t feel sterile, collaborative spaces that respect personal space, and flexible spaces that adapt to what we need. We can help these places promote health and wellness by focusing on HVAC systems, biophilic design principles, colors, shapes, spaces, lighting, and ways of bringing naturalistic elements into the spaces we inhabit.
health + wellness in built environments
Indoor air quality
As we’re hearing more about ‘air exchanges’ and ‘droplets’ and ‘particles’ in everyday news, we turn our focus to a properly integrated HVAC system. Indoor air quality is under increased scrutiny and that’s because it affects the safety, comfort, productivity, and health of the most expensive investment we make in a building: the people inside.
When we think about HVAC systems we consider:
- System flexibility
- The air distribution method
- Air filtration strategies
- System hours of operation
- Humidification control
- Air exchanges and exhaust
The Psychological perception of space
How people feel in a space, that is to say, how people perceive a space, is another key aspect to creating healthy spaces. We know we need to implement health-focused design principles, but there are far more considerations than these:
- How biophilic design can help promote the health of all occupants
- Using circadian lighting to aid in immune function and alertness
- Using natural materials and textures while maintaining the ability to clean them easily
- Paying attention to thermal and acoustic levels to promote comfort and concentration
- Reducing glare
- Simulating natural air and light
- Utilizing fractals and natural geometries in designs to help evoke nature
Our goal is to consider sustainability holistically: to not only make spaces that are sustainable for the people inside them, but also responsible to the environment at large. Utilizing energy modeling, community integration, and emissions strategies we consider the impact of the building as a whole. There’s more than just making a building that makes a positive impact today: we strive to make that impact over the years to come as well.