c j pepper

a design consultancy

The Convergence

What are the building environmental conditions that have a direct impact on occupant health? How do we monitor and measure them? What tools, standards and metrics do we employ? How do we link BMS to OCS.

BMS

Building Management Systems (BMS) monitor and manage building performance. Those that impact human health include occupancy sensors, energy consumption and utilization, air circulation and moisture content.

OMS

Occupant Monitoring Systems (OMS) would provide feedback to the BMS on ambient environmental conditions impacting human regulatory systems. For instance, feedback loops might adjust for CO2 levels through ventilation controls, 

 

 

 

. . . designing for health and well-being

The Challenge

The “sick building syndrome” is still not a “thing of the past”, but it should be. Today, more than ever, the viral transmissions, including the common cold, the flu, and now COVID-19, summon the critical need for responsive leadership around the health and wholeness of the work environment. To overlook or discount the conditions that impact building design and performance on workplace well-being is to ignore their effect on absenteeism, productivity and trust.

Most solutions can be addressed by making modifications to systems that impact indoor air quality, lighting and comfort. Modifications might include UV air treatment, indoor air quality monitoring, viral-resistant surfaces, self-sanitizing door handles and health monitoring systems, to name a few.

The Question

How do we take our digitally connected building to the next level?  For instance, building systems receiving feedback from occupant digital “wearables”.

The Value

One way to determine the effectiveness of these workplace modifications is by calculating reductions in sick leave and attrition while discounting other benefits.

Indoor Air Quality

We breathe, on average, over 15,000 liters of air per day. Indoors, that air may consist of pollutants in the form of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), smoke, and off-gassing (a discharge of particulate matter from furniture, sealants, coatings, glues and other substances).

Premature deaths in US due to air pollution

Global deaths due to air pollution

The air we breathe has a significant impact on our health and well-being, short and long-term. Indoor air pollutants and poor environmental controls can contribute to headaches, fatigue, eye irritation and breathing difficulties. Needless to say, these are disruptive responses that affect focus and concentration and, ultimately, productivity and overall health.
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The Fix

Involves ventilation and filtration design, VOC reduction, microbe and mold control, cleaning protocols and reduced exposure to hazardous materials.

Thinking about healthy building certification for your business?

Where to begin?

WELL Healthy and Safety

Fitwel Viral Response Module

Given that people spend much of their waking day indoors, insufficient illumination or improper lighting design can effect occupant mood, alertness and overall health. Ideal lighting involves proper exposure to diffuse daylight, careful design of windows and interior lighting.
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The Fix

Current lighting codes and guidelines provide illuminance recommendations for different room types and typical activities per room

Lighting

Lighting impacts energy efficiency, thermal comfort, occupant productivity and well-being. It affects internal clocks that synchronize physiological functions, our circadian rhythms. Proper illumination can minimize disruption to the body’s circadian system, enhance productivity, support good sleep quality and provide appropriate visual acuity where needed.