Blue Light: Consequences for visual health | Lamp

SLOW Building: A paradigm of healthy and sustainable architecture

Jul 19 2022

The SLOW Building Barcelona office building, located in Sant Cugat del Vallés, has become a benchmark in Spain for sustainable and healthy buildings since its inauguration, and it is now a reality.

Designed by the architectural firm Bailo Rull and the building project management company HAUS HEALTHY BUILDINGS, it is considered one of the first nZEB (Nearly Zero Energy Buildings) in which Lamp has provided lighting adapted to the holistic approach that guides the project, which focuses on looking after the environment and people.


Slow Building: How it started

As Ricard Santa María, Managing Director of H.A.U.S. Healthy Buildings, explains, "The first challenge when we sat down to study the characteristics of the place was to propose an urban planning rethink that would help us to achieve the objectives we had in mind in terms of health and sustainability".

In this way, we assessed the impact that this building would have on sustainability, but also on people's well-being and health, and, right from the beginning of the project, an effort was made to observe and understand the existing conditions with respect to:

- Natural lighting.

- An acoustic proximity map.

- The thermal and bioclimatic behaviour of the potential building.

- The quality of the surrounding air.

- The quality of the water supply.

- The physical toxicity of the surroundings.

…and, in this way, the optimal solutions to meet the project's highest objectives were proposed.


SLOW Building: The results

The DGNB certification (the German sustainable building label awarded by the Green Building Council Spain - GBCe), the energy demand A certification, and the creation of an nZEB building all validate the effectiveness of the strategies integrated into the building from an environmental point of view. As a result, the SLOW building will have 25% lower energy consumption compared to similar buildings constructed in the last 5 years.

From the orientation of the building to its design, as well as the materials used, the building makes maximum use of natural resources and minimises the production of waste, always prioritising passive solutions over more active ones, as in the case of the study of orientation and the different treatment of the façades according to thermal efficiency.

-North façade with glazed curtain wall.

-South façade with solar filter panels and operable panels.

-East and west ventilated façades with a perforated sheet metal finish to reduce solar radiation.

Areas designed for people's well-being

As for strategies focused on improving people's well-being and health, various solutions have also been implemented, such as the creation of outdoor areas and spaces intended solely for rest and relaxation. For every 7.2 m² of office space indoors, there is 1 m² of outdoor space.

Beyond ensuring energy efficiency, special attention has been paid to design features that maximise environmental comfort levels, in a comprehensive and holistic manner:

-Acoustic comfort by allowing work in open areas;

-Air quality by facilitating natural cross-ventilation, as well as the incorporation of air renewal systems;

-The treatment of electric fields and waves by absorbing electromagnetic interference;

-Climate management for improved thermal comfort;

-Eliminating environmental toxicity thanks to materials with low VOCs emission, as well as the use of paint with antibacterial and CO2 metabolising properties;

-The building is equipped with water fountains providing ionised, mineralised, and filtered water fountains to offer the best quality water to users;


Lighting and user experience

As you would expect, the lighting quality of the different areas has been one of the distinctive features of this building. To meet the objectives, not only of sustainability, but also of well-being and visual health, Lamp's technical department and lighting consultants worked together with the health and sustainability department of H.A.U.S. Healthy Buildings as well as with the Bailo Rull architecture studio design team.

The lighting design of the SLOW building has been carried out with both visual and environmental comfort in mind, as well as the highest possible energy efficiency.

The end result is an integrated lighting system incorporating dynamic LED lighting technology, which allows for changes in colour temperature to accompany the changing sunlight, adapted both to the workspaces and their users, bearing in mind the tasks carried out in the different areas.

The essence of efficient and healthy lighting

At the outset, the Lamp + service defined the lighting proposal in three phases, working in conjunction with the project's design and spec teams.

1 -Spatial and functional consultancy to design lighting routes that can adapt to
the usage requirements of the different areas and users.

Three dynamic lighting routes were defined for reception areas, offices with split shifts, and offices with continuous shifts. Each one of them with its respective variations according to the summer and winter timetables.

In addition, the proposal contemplated specific situations that could be triggered in the office, presentation areas, etc.

At the request of Bailo Rull's architectural team, we paid special attention to key areas where the walkways could suffer a greater deviation in colour temperature. We paid particular attention to ensuring that the building did not show any deviations in light tonality from the glazed North façade that could distort the perception of the building from the surrounding area.

2- A technological solution to balance the impact of circadian stimulation and energy efficiency, taking into account the high levels of natural light, and adjusting light levels responsively, according to the brightness sensors provided.

3- Melanopic calculations that underpinned the light calculations, in order to meet the requirements of increased circadian stimulation in the early hours of the working day - justified according to Melanopic Lux levels as well as CS (Circadian Stimulous), especially in areas with less natural light input.

Lighting solutions in the SLOW Project

The FIL 45 luminaire is the comprehensive solution to respond to all project variables and factors, as, in addition to incorporating dynamic LED technology (with variable CCT from 2700K to 6500K) in order to implement both dynamic lighting pathways and specific situations, all integrated and controlled from the building's BMS management system.

From a visual comfort point of view, FIL 45, thanks to its Opal Confort diffuser, provides high glare control, maintaining low levels of UGR, as well as being classified as RG0 (exempt from Photobiological Risk), according to standard 62471, which assesses and classifies luminaires according to the impact that blue light emissions can have on people's health, whilst always maintaining a linear and uniform aesthetic.

In addition to energy efficiency, FIL 45 offers an environmentally friendly solution, as, in addition to being designed according to eco-design criteria, which allows for its separability, ease of maintenance, and recyclability at the end of its life cycle, it is also made from 80-85% recycled extruded aluminium, thus reducing its carbon footprint by 70%, and using only 5% of the energy required compared to non-recycled aluminium.

All these aspects reduce this lighting solution's carbon footprint, and are parameters which are set out in the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), published and downloadable on Lamp's website and on the Environdec portal.

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