For far too long, building and office design has failed to embrace those sentient creatures who inhabit such spaces, namely humans.
Today, more humanistic design is becoming the norm, and with it a new focus on light. The truths are simple; we operate better, more happily and more productively when we work in pleasant, light, airy buildings and offices.
And in the push for more humanistic lighting design, Greenlite Group welcomes standards like the WELL Building Certificate, which are hastening progress in this area.
WELLbeing for all
WELL is the first building standard to focus exclusively on enhancing people’s health and wellness through the built environment. Last month marked a new milestone; one firm’s New York City headquarters in Manhattan achieved WELL Certification under v1 of the WELL Building Standard.
In the new building, lighting levels, fixtures and windows are optimised to match the human body’s circadian rhythms, to help employees be more productive and alert during the day, and to achieve better sleep patterns at night. Additionally, lighting locations, glare control and illumination levels exist to provide employees with the highest level of functionality for the tasks required at their work zones.
Closer to home, here at Greenlite we are taking things a step further, following this lead and applying the theory in the UK. For example, we have made very meaningful progress in our own offices, to help deliver leadership for our clients and UK buildings in general.
Greenlite, WELL and the future of humanistic lighting design
“We are calling for all businesses and buildings to embrace the concepts WELL sets out,” explains Bob Hall our Managing Director.
“Among such elements are a key focus on lighting; and as commercial LED lighting experts we know how important it is to get this right. In other moves, WELL standards encourage staff to move throughout the day and to avoid sitting for long periods of time. Studies have shown that sitting for periods of greater than six hours per day has a negative impact on our health.
“It’s all about changing workplace design to promote staff health and happiness. And in our new Greenlite offices, we’ve put the theory into practice.”
The Greenlite example
At our Blackpool Headquarters, we have taken 3 specific approaches: maximising daylight, task lighting and the optimisation of heating and cooling technologies.
Firstly, maximising daylight was essential. Our design scheme was designed to allow light to flood through the individual ‘glass’ rooms – each of which benefited from large windows. Daylight panels were also installed in the ceiling to let natural light into the building.
Task lighting is important too. Desk lamps with various reading/study/relax settings allow staff to work with the main lights off and work with the most appropriate lighting for the task in hand. This helps to prevent headaches and eyestrain for those working on computers.
We didn’t stop at lighting. We have also invested in other new technologies including heating, ventilation & air conditioning systems. The idea here is to provide optimum thermal comfort and high indoor air quality.
If human-centric approaches to lighting in the workplace sounds interesting, then a case study on Greenlite’s own office improvements is available. And for those seeking leadership and advice on commercial LED lighting, Greenlite is just a phone call away.