Sustainability | Wellbeing & Sustainability Within A Commercial Environment

Oct 7th, 2020 | Blog | 0 Comments

Mattinson Associates, Architects on the Isle of Wight, have written why wellbeing and sustainability are so important in commercial environments.

It is estimated that we spend ninety per cent of our time indoors; so, with issues such as Seasonal Affective Disorder and Sick Building Syndrome being caused by the spaces we live and work in, it’s important to understand how we can use sustainable, clever design to improve wellbeing within commercial environments. Check out the information below where it explains how, by improving sustainability within your office/retail/commercial space, it can improve wellbeing for clients, colleagues and collaborators.

FSC Certified Timber

  • Known to lower the sympathetic nervous system and contribute to decreasing stress, timber is non-toxic and can be an easier way to improve wellbeing quickly. Being breathable, renewable and non-toxic, it can create a healthier working environment. A study by Holzcluster Steiermark in Austria found that when comparing four classrooms, two with timber interiors and two built with traditional methods, the pupils in the timber classrooms were more relaxed, concentration levels were higher and sleep was improved.

Ventilation

  • The World Building Council suggested a 101% increase in cognitive scores in a well-ventilated office. Damp and stale air can cause illness but also can worsen symptoms of those with asthma and allergies. Now that most offices are open plan, efficient ventilation is vital to ensure that sickness does not spread and thrive through the air. Poor ventilation in the workplace has found that productivity and concentration levels worsen and sick days increase. The World Building Council have some great articles, in particular, check them out here https://www.worldgbc.org/better-places-people/green-healthy-work-spaces

Temperature

  • The thermal comfort of commercial space is one of the highest factors contributing to overall human satisfaction and wellbeing, but also distraction and procrastination. However, finding a temperature for an office space that everyone is happy with is almost impossible. The Helsinki University of Technology has led many studies into overall employee productivity and they have found performance peaked around 22 °C. This might not work for you, but essentially as long as the temperature is suitable for the majority of employees, it will allow them to focus on the work itself rather than being too hot or cold.

Light

  • The type of lighting within your commercial space can truly awaken and energise those within it. Seasonal Affective Disorder is common during winters in England causing persistent low moods, increase of irritability and feeling lethargic; due to darker mornings and evenings, our body clocks are disrupted. By increasing our exposure to natural light, productivity can rise by eighteen per cent and better lighting, in general, can boost productivity by twenty-three per cent.

Biophilic Design

  • Biophilic architecture is a great solution for bettering commercial environments overall. Reconnecting us with nature and making us happier, studies have shown that Biophilic design boosts well being and productivity. If your commercial space is in a city with little inspiring views of the natural world, perhaps look to install some indoor plants that specifically filter the air around them. By considering planting during the concept stage, it becomes holistically engrained within the space. This has a significantly positive effect on our wellbeing – nature is a necessity rather than an afterthought.

Combined, each of these ideas can create a sustainable workplace that significantly improves productivity and therefore a higher return for investors or profit. If you need help with your commercial space and want to get in touch, find our contact details here: https://www.mattinsonassociates.com/contact/