Healthy and dynamic indoor environment
A building that contributes to the health and well-being of the user as well as being more energy efficient requires a different view of the indoor climate. Since the 1970s, we have been striving to save energy. However, energy use per person continues to rise and does not lead to healthier or more productive users. We believe that this is due to the static, stable indoor climate. This does not encourage health or productivity and, no matter how efficient, always costs more energy than ‘laissez faire’. ABT are all for dynamic indoor climates appropriate to user needs at a specific place and time.
Depending on the function of a building, there are different needs. There are diverse activities in offices, in a museum a visitor may stand and look at a painting, a nurse may be walking back and forth a lot while a patient lies still in bed. One constant indoor climate is not sufficient and requires unnecessary energy.
ABT designs seemingly simple, intelligent climate systems that respond to the needs of the user, in a given location. For an office, these can be different climate zones to suit different needs. Local air-conditioning is an interesting option for rooms with objects or people who move little or not at all.
A dynamic climate makes for a healthy living environment. More stimulation of our senses and a variation of building physical aspects (light, temperature, air, sound) activates the human body and improves resistance to disease. Moreover, a dynamic climate better matches outside temperatures, resulting in lower energy consumption than conventional control. So, a temperature bandwidth instead of a set point is healthier as well as more sustainable.
Facade makes the difference
We can achieve a dynamic living environment with smart controls, but it starts with integral façade design. To us the façade is not a barrier between inside and outside, but a connecting element for using natural forces and passive principles.
Our strategies regarding health and wellness align with the themes within the WELL Building Standard. We have experience with this methodology and certification to make health and wellness measurable.
Image header Depot Boijmans van Beuningen: © Iris van den Broek