How do Architects Influence Occupant Health and Comfort?
Building architects are responsible for conceptualizing high-quality constructions that can stand the test of time. These structures also need to be well-suited for their occupants, as a poorly thought-out design can cause various health and comfort-related issues. Today, let’s take a look at the essential ways architects influence the wellness of those who call their buildings home for work, residence, or anything in-between.
Any architect knows that you can’t just throw together a bunch of fluorescent lights and call it a day – every room in every building they design has different parameters for lighting. If a space is overwhelmed by low-cost, high-output lighting that’s harsh on occupants, it can lend to a drier and more uncomfortable atmosphere. The best solutions implement natural lighting and workplace-friendly alternatives such as LED or pot lighting to ensure people indoors don’t feel drained or irritated.
An efficient and spacious floorplan is critical for many reasons. For offices, for example, occupants benefit more from an open-concept large working area instead of segmented offices, as lighting and hydration will be the same for everyone and more easily addressed. In addition, a spacious layout encourages better collaboration, performance, and comfort through less of a feeling of being closed off from everyone else. This is why many modern offices are adopting open-concept layouts to encourage interaction and wellness.
The way air enters and is ventilated through a building can vastly influence the conditions inside. If the ventilation is poor or doesn’t efficiently reach every room, then some areas may be intolerable, stuffy, and susceptible to increased bacterial growth. For occupants to feel comfortable, they need fresh oxygen that is clean and filtered to be free of toxins.
Proper Humidity Control
The relative humidity (RH) in most buildings should be between 40% and 60%. This ensures that airborne infection risks are reduced, along with the dangers of electrostatic discharges, mould spores, dryness, and other conditions that can impact occupant health and comfort. Using systems such as steam humidifiers combined with evaporative cooler capabilities offer a great way to ensure a building receives complete humidity control to keep things under control. Architects should plan the design to incorporate these systems, which will lead to better ventilation and atmospheric control indoors. Steam humidifiers combined with evaporative coolers can reduce absenteeism by limiting the spread of infectious bacteria, making the building a more suitable place to work.
There are many ways that architects directly influence the health and comfort of occupants through their designs, especially when it comes to humidity and air quality control. For more information about steam humidifiers, evaporative coolers or other various humidity solutions in a wide range of load capacities, contact us at Nortec today.