The incorporation of new technologies into architectural designs has been expanding design possibilities over the last few years. Automation in construction processes can be used both in large scale city strategies, and smaller-scale demands like in the construction of residences. One of the more recent ways that technology has been integrated into the design of workplaces is through the incorporation of artificial intelligence, which uses data that can “teach” the machines how to work in several levels of autonomy.
Thermal Comfort: The Latest Architecture and News
It is truly odd how we always find ourselves in a bad mood at work and our productivity keeps decreasing as the week passes by. To be fair, we can’t keep blaming our colleagues, clients, or Monday for our rough day; sometimes it’s the chair we are sitting on, the fluorescent lighting above our computer, or the constant “chugging” sound of the printer near the desk.
Other than the fact that people spend about 70-80% of their time indoors, almost 9 hours of their day are being spent at work; and studies have indicated that the environmental quality of an office has short and long term effects on the comfort, health, and productivity of the people occupying it. While research on the comfort conditions of workplaces is still relatively minimal, we have put together a list of factors that have proved to be highly influential on the comfort of individuals in workplaces.
Above and Beyond Aesthetics, Suspended Ceilings Can Improve Occupant Comfort and Acoustical Performance
Open ceilings offer an opportunity for creative design and technical integration. They play a key role in forming interior spaces and add value by adding comfort through acoustics, finishes and other integrated solutions to the overall design intent.
In a study recently published by AIA, less than 13% of architectural firms have incorporated building performance as part of their practice. With buildings contributing 40% of total carbon emissions leading to climate change, just 25 projects are roughly equivalent to planting 1 million trees each year. In addition to that, teams that are able to showcase data-driven and performance-driven decision-making and feature an energy analysis in every pursuit are able to increase fees and generate more revenue. Although integrating building performance sounds like a no-brainer, it proves to be difficult at many firms, because in addition to the practical changes, it requires a culture shift. That culture shift can only happen if the tools are easy to use, accurate, and mesh well with current workflows. Right now is the perfect time to tackle these culture changes due to a few reasons:
Today in the United States, buildings account for nearly 40% of carbon emissions (EESI) and 78% of electricity usage. The most sustainability-focused firms run energy simulations for less than 50% of their projects (10% for a typical firm) and only doing so late in the process when design changes are limited and insufficient to combat red flags found in the performance report (AIA 2030 report). We can make building performance widespread once we help the entire community discuss the subject in terms of investment and return. Especially during a project pursuit, since having the buy in from the whole team helps ensure the key project metrics are met. Owners are seeking out teams who are using actual metrics and data driven processes that affect their bottom line. This new approach to practice is what makes the younger teams’ standout and will benefit both the climate and the bottom-line. Here are 5 ways to talk about building performance in your project pursuits:
Have you ever found yourself losing a good night’s sleep due to an overly warm room? Or wearing four jackets and a scarf just to tolerate your office’s frigid air conditioning? Truth be told, you can’t please everyone when it comes to adjusting an indoor climate, and there is always that one unfortunate individual who ends up sacrificing their own comfort for the sake of others.
Evidently, there are no ‘universal standards’ or ‘recommended comfort ranges’ in designing building systems, since athletes training in a gym in Mexico will not feel comfortable in an interior with the same building systems of a nursing home in Denmark, for instance. Which is why, if we were to briefly define ‘thermal comfort’, it is the creation of building systems that are adapted to the local environment and functions of the space, cooperatively.
So how can we design for optimum thermal comfort?
ArchDaily has become the most consulted architecture website in the world and the volume of our traffic reveals key data about the topics that architects consider relevant. In the past few months, user behavior has shown a growing interest in various concepts related to comfort in architecture.