DAYLIGHT & ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE BY VELUX GROUP and... DAYLIGHT & ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE BY...
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T & A
R E M
E B Y
H T &
ITECTURE M A
ZIN E B
E 22 10 EU
SLEEP, W O
RK, LIV E
E 22 SLEEP, W O
RK, LIV E
SLEEP, WORK, LIVE – HEALTHY LIVING AROUND THE CLOCK
Our health and well-being are essential parameters to the quality of our lives. But we spend an excessive amount of time inside buildings – and the air that we breathe and the daylight we are exposed to have a great impact on those parameters. In recent years, much of the debate on sus- tainable architecture – and the public dis- course on sustainability as a whole − has focussed on energy, CO² emissions and the efficient use of material resources. These are all vitally important issues for our survival on this planet; but they are only three of a whole spectrum of issues facing us as human beings living in the built environment. Because health and well-being are paramount to all of us, the primary goal for sustainable homes and urban areas should be to preserve those precious benefits for the people who live in them. This issue of D/A is a call to everyone – building owners, engineers, architects and other professionals working with the built environment – to be aware of and alert to the interlocked factors and mutual dependencies of health and contact with nature, and its material and immaterial resources. A virtu- ous circle becomes apparent: the more peo- ple interact with nature in their everyday lives, the healthier they are likely to become; and the more sensitised they are likely to be to the protection of nature and its resources. ‘Nature’ includes not only flora and fauna. Just as important for our survival are the air that we breathe, the daylight that is being shed on our skin, and the time rhythms of nature that we depend upon, however hard we try to deny them in our modern, 24-hour society. In the first two articles in this magazine, Peter Buchanan and Jakob Schoof outline the challenges of reintroducing nature into our lives, and explain how the different levels of contact with nature interact with each other. The third article presents an in-depth analy- sis of what human beings need for healthy sleep, work and life and the knock-on impli-
cations to genuine attempts to design health into our future cities, homes, schools and office buildings. In the last article, we present recommen- dations for healthy homes. This compilation is the outcome of five workshops that have brought together interdisciplinary teams of international experts who seldom meet and discuss across the boundaries of their own fields of expertise. The workshops were initi- ated and organised by the VELUX Group in 2012 and 2013 as part of our continuous search for – and research in – sustainable liv- ing in buildings. The VELUX Group is committed to tack- ling the challenges of climate change, limited energy resources and the basic need for human health and well-being inside build- ings – and we strive to supply products and solutions that support this commitment. This magazine is our contribution to the discus- sion on the future development of sustaina- ble architecture. It is our hope that this development will be qualified by the realisa- tion that sustainable building is not only about preserving natural resources far away in time and space, but, in a very immediate sense, about human health and well-being.
Enjoy the read!
The VELUX Group
ISSUE 22 CONTENTS
VELUX Editorial 1 Contents 2 Synchronising with nature 7 Forwards to nature 21 Sleep, work, live 35 Circadian house 76
DAYLIGHT & ARCHITECTURE ISSUE 22
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SLEEP, WORK, LIVE
Healthy buildings do not come about by coincidence but through knowl- edgeable design. This article explains the science behind healthy sleeping, working, and living in buildings. It de- scribes our biological needs as they change throughout the day and night, and provides an overview of the as- pects that need to be considered if buildings and cities are to become truly beneficial for human beings.
In order to support human health and well-being, buildings also have to support the natural sleep/wake rhythms of their inhabitants. To help architects and designers achieve this goal, an international team of over 20 experts has now formulated a series of guidelines for 'Circadian Houses'. Amongst other things, these con- stitute a call for more variety in the spaces we inhabit – both in terms of lighting conditions, temperatures and noise levels.
We can only truly care about what we know and what we experience in our everyday lives. Based on this premise, Jakob Schoof explores some of the most promising strategies to recon- nect our lives and our built environ- ment to nature. These operate in four distinct ways: the physical, the sen- sory, the way we use vital resources, and the temporal.
FORWARDS TO NATURE
Sustainable architecture so far has mainly aimed at making buildings ‘less bad’ in terms of emissions and harm to the environment. This narrow mind- set must be overcome, argues Peter Buchanan. In his article, he calls for a new wave of sustainable building de- sign aimed at doing ‘more good’, par- ticularly as regards the physiological health and psychological well-being of the inhabitants.
SYNCHRONISING WITH NATURE
Jesper Waldersten (born 1969) is one of the most popular Swedish artists. For many years, his – often satirical – illustrations have regularly appeared in Sweden’s leading newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, as well as in several magazines in his home country. Jesper Waldersten has also worked as an art director and book illustra- tor. In 2011, his book Waldersten 365 was awarded the Swedish Book Arts Award. With his inimitable style, in which he mixes words, photos, music and draughts- manship, Jesper Waldersten creates images in which nothing is static, nothing is obvious. The result is unpredictable and usually unsettling; yet his sharp humour and ingenious wordplay always conceal a depth of seriousness.
Over time we have progressively removed ourselves from and denied our dependencies upon the natural world, and moved out of sync with its rhythms. Science, which facilitated this, is now proving that the consequences harm us as well as the biosphere. For our health, and the happiness that reinforces it, we need to reconnect and live in greater harmony with nature in all its richly sustaining aspects by bringing these into the city and its buildings in as many ways as possible, while also increasing its sense of urbanity.
SYN- CHRO- NISING WITH NATURE By Peter Buchanan
98 D&A AUTUMN 2014 ISSUE 22
… the vastness of cities, ringed off from countryside by sprawl, now isolates urban dwellers from nature. Even the country- side is not nature but agribusiness mono-cul- ture poisoned by pesticides, so that wildlife and biodiversity have retreated to suburban gardens.
Increasing the presence of nature in cities There are myriad rationalisations for separating ourselves (or liberating ourselves as we mistakenly saw it) from nature and denying our manifold de- pendencies upon it. Particularly influential are the emphasis on the narrowly objective and measurable, and the utilitarian ethos, that still underpin much science, technology and economics. Postmodern critiques, phenomenology and so on brought coun- terbalancing currents, but the modern mind-set still dominates thinking about architecture and the city. The latter continues to be largely seen as an engine of productivity, with parks and recreation merely for distracting release and amusement, rather than as the crucible of culture, consciousness and the con- tinuing evolution of humankind. More prosaically, the vastness of cities, ringed off from countryside by sprawl, now isolates urban dwellers from nature. Even the countryside is not nature but agribusiness monoculture poisoned by pesticides, so that wildlife and biodiversity have retreated to suburban gardens. (In the UK, official guidelines encourage gardens hospitable to wildlife using low maintenance indigenous plants.) Children today lack the easy access to woods and wilds en- joyed by earlier generations, a problem compound- ed by paranoid parents prohibiting children (with some justification) from wandering freely for fear of traffic and dangerous strangers. Numerous stud- ies show children spend diminishing time outdoors, depriving them of intimate engagement with nature and physical adventure (both essential to their de- velopment), leading to ‘nature deficit disorder’1 and health problems. Modern urban life has brought epidemics of ‘dis- eases of civilisation’2 that can be ameliorated by the introduction of nature, particularly trees and plant- ing. People are more inclined to walk or cycle (reduc- ing obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other cardiac problems) if streets are pleasantly shaded and shel- tered by trees. These also absorb pollutants like CO₂, NO₂ and ozone, and help precipitate particulates, cleaning and refreshing the air to