Lamp is organising Worktitude Spaces, a series of events devoted to exploring the new challenges facing architecture and lighting.
The keys are sustainability and the provision of well-being, in accordance with the new user requirements and needs, technological transformation, and the evolution of regulatory frameworks.
In May and July, the first three of a total of six sessions were held in Chile and Colombia. In Colombia, we held two face-to-face events in Bogota and Medellin, giving different presentations, ranging from more theoretical aspects to examples of how we implemented these concepts.
The presentations addressed how to make the buildings of the future more efficient, focusing on sustainability and care for the environment, #WorktitudeForLife, and introducing concern for the well-being of those who use these spaces, #WorktitudeForWellbeing.
Two experts took part:
-Sonia Hernández-Montaño Bou, an architect who specialises in bio-construction, spoke about the importance of understanding sustainability, not only as an environmental issue, but also as a factor that relates to architecture and health when creating spaces to meet people's well-being and needs.
-Ricard Santamaria, on behalf of H.A.U.S Healthy Buildings, a consultancy firm specialising in healthy workspaces, shared his experience surrounding the SLOW building in Barcelona, designed by BailoRull Arquitectura, a real-life example of a "Worktitude Space".
Worktitude Spaces: Architecture as a health tool.
In an engaging masterclass, Hernández-Montaño explained how architecture relates to people's health, how it can affect it, and the importance of focusing on this issue when planning new projects, thereby making decisions that go beyond the current basic requirements, but which are, nevertheless, key to ensuring the conceptualisation and creation of workspaces that really will have a positive impact on the environment, without penalising user well-being.
These decisions affect the different stages of an architectural project, starting from its relationship with the environment to the choice of materials, and introducing the concept of "exposome".
Exposome and spacial architecture.
Exposome is a concept that encompasses all the environmental factors we are exposed to from birth and which have an impact on our health. More and more research is showing that, apart from the impact on our genetic load, these factors also have a significant bearing on our genome.
Exposome takes into account factors that are dependent on personal, biological and external circumstances. It is in the latter group where elements such as the climate, the noise around us, pollution, lighting, and, of course, architecture, are taken into account.
Hernández-Montaño states that estimates show that 20% of a person's health hinges on the health care they have access to. The remaining 80 percent is divided into socio-economic factors (40%), lifestyle (30%) and the physical environment (10%). As you can see, architecture is directly responsible for at least 10% of the factors that can affect our health, although in reality it is also connected to the other categories. For example, in a city where mobility is encouraged through the development of cycle paths, the likelihood of people having a healthier lifestyle is far higher.
One Health: How to measure the impact of architecture on health?
While the trend towards more sustainable and eco-friendly architectural solutions is well established, this isn't the case with the attention to elements that directly affect our health. However, we are starting to talk about One Health, the interconnectedness of human health, animal health (livestock farms) and the environment. One cannot think of one without taking the other into account as well.
The relationship between architecture and health can be measured in terms of different parameters: the socio-economic impact, the elements that cause discomfort, and technical responsibility, all of which go beyond current regulations and seek to "humanise the profession".
Worktitude Spaces: Lighting
A fundamental element when talking about environmental comfort is the lighting in indoor spaces, especially those where the users have long working days, or areas for particularly sensitive people, such as children or people over 65.
One strategy for improving user well-being, as well as maximising a building's energy efficiency, will always be to optimise the amount of natural light entering the building. However, this light supply often does not fully cover the lighting requirements of the workspaces. For this reason, as well as having luminaires equipped with efficient technology, such as LED technology, we also need to pay close attention to visual comfort, adopting the concept of integrative lighting, which resolves lighting issues by considering both the visual and non-visual effects of the lighting.
From a visual health point of view we have to ensure adequate lighting levels and contrast strategies, correct colour rendering indexes, low glare and blue light emission indexes to prevent photobiological risk, and the absence of flicker.
However, lighting is also one of the major regulators of our circadian rhythms, which is why we need to approach it from a more holistic perspective, that of integrative lighting, taking into account not only the colour temperature, but also its dynamism and the composition of the light spectrum, as well as its influence on circadian activation, all the time taking into account the use of technologies such as LED Wellbeing.
Jordi Arasanz and Raquel Quevedo, Lamp's technical and marketing director, respectively, both of them members of the sustainability committee, told us about the new challenges facing lighting in an industry that needs to evolve further than simply offering efficient solutions from an energy point of view. This poses new challenges and solutions such as:
- The remodeling and regeneration of luminaires by the incorporation of recycled materials, or the creation of new materials through research into the use of recycled polycarbonates in combination with bromine-free flame retardants (R-PC FR WHITE ™);
-The creation of new concepts, such as the Nomadic System, based on the use of lighting systems that are compatible with installation methods that promote the recovery and reuse of equipment, enhancing and extending the life cycle of the product already installed;
-The incorporation of eco-design concepts, which encourage the technological upgrading of lighting fixtures;
-The implementation of technology that minimises light pollution.
- Understanding, and quantitively analyzing, product impact, taking into account the product's Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and notifying it through Environmental Product Declarations, thus promoting circular design, in line with the changes in regulatory frameworks, as in the case of LEVELs.
Lighting and acoustics, integrated solutions
A further step forward in the commitment to create solutions focused on well-being is the collaboration between Lamp and AISTEC, co-developers of the QUIET luminaire family, which includes lighting and acoustic conditioning solutions, offering a system that improves an area's environmental comfort, working in parallel on two main principals. Juan Carlos Castillo represented AISTEC and he shared the best criteria and practices to address acoustic conditioning in projects.
Worktitude Spaces: From Project to Reality
To close the conference, we were able to get a close-up look at two projects that have already been completed. They are prime examples of this transversal, or holistic, approach to creating healthy and sustainable spaces, always keeping the user's well-being at the centre of everything.
-Paula A. Serna, lighting designer and founder of the DEDÓS studio, explained the lighting concept behind the Sagrado Corazón Montemayor Pre-School project, sharing her vision of lighting design as a way of promoting people's physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
-The SLOW Building in Barcelona, presented by Ricard Santamaría, is a pioneering example of this architectural transition, incorporating environmental sustainability and people's health as key elements of the project right from its very conception.
-Both these projects take into account environmental comfort and people's health in a transversal, or holistic, way, considering air and water quality, comfort (lighting, acoustic and thermal) and complementary aspects such as ergonomics, accessibility, and the relationship with the environment.
Worktitude Spaces: Future events
Over the next few months, the next WORKTITUDE SPACES event will take place in different locations in Spain and Mexico, and we will continue to have experts on hand to help us understand the challenges, solutions, and regulatory changes that are transforming architecture, lighting, and the way in which we design and build our workspaces.
The next planned events are as follows:
- Madrid and Barcelona, in September and October, respectively. On this occasion, we will have a round table format, with four experts participating and reflecting on this paradigm shift. Together, we will discover new solutions and factors to be taken into account;
- Mexico City, in November, where we will return to the format of having keynote speeches.