When viewing the night sky, most of us feel an intimate connection to the universe. Yet starry skies and moonlit nights have become increasingly rare for city-dwellers today. Given the harm that too much light at night is inflicting on human beings and ecosystems, it is time to reconsider our relationship to the ‘nocturnal side’ of our lives and our culture.
Commercial Skylights Blog
While the science of well-being is relatively nascent, the UK Government’s ‘Foresight’ project sheds a great deal of light on five factors that have a proven effect on well-being1, leading to the definition of the Five Ways to Well-Being (connect, keep active, take notice, keep learning, give).2 The question remains, though, how do we design buildings that can positively influence these five factors?
Over the last one and a half centuries, artificial light and the restructuring of working times have seemingly ‘liberated’ us from the diurnal cycles of light and dark that nature imparts on us. Yet recent research has shown that this separation from nature comes at a considerable cost, causing health and social problems. A reconnection to the rhythms of nature is therefore needed – and this will also have a profound influence on architecture.
How do you design and operate a healthy building? Answers to these questions can be found in an increasing number of methodologies and rating schemes that have seen the light around the world in recent years. They all share the ambition to strengthen the health and well-being of building users. Yet, they vary widely in terms of their overall scope, the metrics they use as proof of performance, and the weight that they put on the different phases in a building’s life cycle. The following chronological overview presents a selection of the most important and forward-looking tools, as well as their underlying methodologies.
A considerable body of research shows that people prefer daylit spaces to those lacking natural light. Why should this be? If there is sufficient light to see, why would people prefer one source to another? To answer this question, we need to understand the evolved relationship between humans and natural light
To truly enhance human well-being, building design needs to move beyond optimising single parameters such as temperature and humidity, to more holistic approaches that take their cues in health-supporting human behaviours. Based on the Five Ways to Well-Being that have recently been established by scientists, this article outlines the way architects can consider these aspects in their designs, in order to nudge building users into a healthier way of living.
All over the world, natural daylight has been exchanged for artificial light forms at the expense of our health and even productivity. With better building design, though, we can reclaim the daylight and improve well-being and performance
Children spend more time within the walls of their school than anywhere else but their own homes. How much time are we talking about?
For the approximately 64 million European, school-aged children who each spend about 200 days a year in educational institutions, with 70% of that day indoors, this comes out to around one full year spent indoors - in school, by the time they exit primary school.1
Did you know that well-designed classrooms have a significant influence on academic performance? Studies have found that improved physical characteristics of classrooms can boost the learning outcomes of students.
Hessenwald School in Weiterstadt, Germany, is an example of energy-efficient, contemporary architecture that offers a new teaching and pedagogical model. At the centre of both model and building stands a well-lit and well-ventilated three-storey atrium.