iDeA: The Mind-Building Connection
An article in the October 2006 issue of The Psychologist focuses on research that demonstrates the impact environments have on their inhabitants. The field of environmental psychology is dedicated to understanding how buildings can positively or negatively affect the people who use them. Some of the findings from environmental psychology research have been remarkable. For example here are some representative study results cited in the article:
iDeA: Green x Red
Balancing economy, user comfort, energy efficiency and environmental awareness led NAC|Architecture to develop an interactive mechanical controls system that interfaces with building users, asking for user assistance to maximize energy efficiency.
To maximize individual user comfort, it is important that users have access to operable windows in their spaces. However, a potential disadvantage is that introducing outside air into a conditioned building can actually decrease the building mechanical system’s efficiency if outdoor climate conditions increase heating or cooling demands already being made on the mechanical system – a continuing frustration of facilities managers everywhere.
We have integrated a system of red and green lights in the corridors of our buildings to inform users about outside temperature conditions. Red lights in the corridors mean that open windows will inhibit the mechanical system’s ability to properly condition the building, while green lights in the corridors mean that open windows will assist the building’s mechanical system in properly conditioning the space, increasing the buildings energy efficiency.
This system is an economical approach to the age-old quandary regarding operable windows. It asks building users to facilitate environmental stewardship on a daily basis, raising awareness of their impact on energy usage.
Please contact Dana Harbaugh in our Spokane office if you would like to find out more about this topic.
iDeA: Displacement Ventilation
In order to heat and cool spaces, displacement ventilation uses the fact that hot air rises. By supplying air at floor level, displacement ventilation allows a room’s occupants and equipment to warm the air before it is exhausted at the top of the room. This has several positive effects: