Intriguing Ways FMs Are Shaping Interiors For Occupant Health
Facility professionals, from designers to owners and operators, are being tasked more and more to take responsibility for shaping interior environments that will benefit the health of their occupants. What are some of the more intriguing or ingenious ways you see this concept being applied to interiors in commercial facilities?
Health of occupants has been a common issue for a while but has taken on a new focus in recent years. The obvious starters are daylight and views — a sense of connection to the outdoors has been shown to improve health and absenteeism. When possible and depending on local climate, introducing outside air directly into interiors makes for a fresher environment and reduced CO2 levels. Natural ventilation and mixed mode (various combinations of natural and mechanical ventilation) have become more popular, and also have the potential to reduce energy consumption. Selection of materials is very important, avoiding harmful chemicals and off gassing dramatically increases indoor air quality. Finally it’s the layout of the space itself; easy access to break areas with healthy snacks, recreational spaces, and more opportunities to get up, walk around, and talk to colleagues all helps to improve occupant health.
Answers provided by James B. Woods PE, LEED AP BD+C, senior engineer, Mechanical & Energy, ARUP