Healthy Architecture in 2020: The Healing Power of Daylight
Healthy architecture is a life-changing and contemporary design concept that has been evolving for decades. With the introduction of certifications including LEED, BREEAM, WELL and Fitwel – healthy architecture is the forefront of building construction.
Architects and building owners are designing medical and hospital spaces in a more holistic way, recognizing the impact both energy efficiency and healthy environments play in the overall building and well-being of its inhabitants. “In building, wellness is the new sustainability. The goal is to make our built environment more physically healthy for people” says Jonathan Penndorf, an architect with the Washington, D.C., firm Perkins+Will.” 1
Healthcare is one sector that continues to be top of mind from cost and patient perspectives. Building owners, healthcare professionals and patients recognize the importance of ‘healthy buildings’ and how architecture can impact overall patient well-being and recovery.
The benefits of healthy architecture includes natural light which is reported in a 2012 study showing patients recovering in rooms and spaces with natural light shorten their hospital stay length by 16%-41%.2 In addition to reduction in hospital stay, natural light has also been shown to improve the mental well-being of patients and reduce post-operative side effects such as post-operative delirium.3
Anesthesiologist, Dr. Colin Noble says ‘there are many non-pharmaceutical ways to help prevent delirium with the Cleveland and Mayo Clinics offering recommendations including natural light.’ Both clinics recommend adding a daily dose of natural light into the recovery plan for post-operative patients to reduce the chances of patients developing delirium.4
Delirium is complicated and needs to be reviewed for all post-operation patients, especially in the elderly. Delirium posses risk factor for complications, a longer length in hospital stay, and discharge to a post acute nursing facility.5
While natural daylight is only one element, studies support healthy architecture as it contributes to the overall well-being of the patients and their recovery. In addition to its direct contribution to healing, this natural resource is abundant, sustainable and free. It is aching to be utilized in the midst of carbon neutral regulations, net zero buildings and climate action strides across the globe.
So why not incorporate daylighting into your next project?
While natural daylight is only one element, studies support healthy architecture as it contributes to the overall well-being of the patients and their recovery.
Advanced Glazings Ltd. delivers full design assistance including resources and daylight modeling for healthcare facility designers globally. Solera and SoleraWall® family of glass daylighting façade products are building integrated solutions allowing architects the flexibility in design to configure and control the correct illumination, light diffusion, visible light transmittance, and solar heat gain properties while achieving superior acoustic performance and thermal insulation ranging from R2.2 to R25. Optimize your next hospital or medical project with Advanced Glazings Ltd’s expertise and use the correct Solera® daylighting solution for an exceptional healing space to maximize patient and providers experience.
Photo credit: Medical Construction & Design