Building design today, and throughout the 20th century, has been significantly shaped by fire safety considerations. Architects today are familiar with the wide range of code requirements for a building to be compliant, from materials, to fire extinguisher locations, to fire-rated walls and doors. As buildings have become better-equipped to withstand fire emergencies, however, modern life has simultaneously increased the amount of fire hazards we live with.
Humans spend almost 90% of the time indoors; that's approximately 20 hours a day in closed rooms and 9 hours a day in our own bedrooms. The architectural configurations of these spaces are not random - that is, they have been designed or thought of by someone, and are at least slightly "guided" by the conditions of their inhabitants and their surroundings. Some people inhabit spaces specially catered to their needs and tastes, while others adapt and appropriate designs made for someone else, perhaps developed decades before they were born. In either case, their quality of life may be better or worse depending on the decisions that are made.
Understanding the importance of carefully designing our interiors, particularly through the lens of access and enjoyment of natural light, was the purpose of the 8th VELUX Daylight Symposium, held on October 9 and 10 of 2019 in Paris. This year, more than 600 researchers and professionals attended and reaffirmed the importance of natural light, presenting a series of concrete tools that could help quantify and qualify light by designing its entry, management, and control with greater depth and responsibility.
This week we’ve selected the best chapels previously published on our site. They reveal different ways of designing a small and sacred space. For inspiration on how to create these atmospheres, integrate different materials, and make proper use of light, we present 32 remarkable examples.
Last month Harvard University’s School of Public Health re-launched their Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment, introducing new partnerships and a new director for the institutional home of Dr. Joseph Allen’s Healthy Buildings initiative. With the stated mission of “improving the lives of all people, in all buildings, everywhere, every day,” the Healthy Buildings Team is leading research on how today’s built environments impact the health, productivity, and well-being of the people who inhabit them; as well as how future buildings can help us live healthier lives.
In the interest of defining their terms and presenting their research in a way that audiences outside academia can understand and incorporate into their work, the Healthy Buildings team have released an exhaustive list that details the simple foundations of making a building healthy.
The 9 foundations for healthy buildings are as follows: