Elements to Consider for WELL Being in Office Spaces

I am always working on having the most current information about the effects of lighting on us physiologically and psychologically, and addressing it properly for each of my projects. Although lighting efficiency has always been part of my world as a certified NCQLP designer, long before LEED certification was introduced, my dedication has always been to provide lighting that was functional as well as visually stunning. LEED certification never impressed me solely due to the fact that it only addressed efficiency. I questioned the attributes of LEED not addressing quality of human response, but never got good answers from anyone with LEED or got looks of surprise showing it was not thought of. I can never discount the importance of aesthetics and a sense of well-being in a space from design elements, as well as with light.

I am pleased to hear of WELL, or International Well Building Institute, a performance-based certification system that marries best practices in design and construction with evidence-based research of quality of living, which includes lighting design as an important element of its scoring method, along with, air, water, nourishment, fitness, comfort (also part of lighting), and overall sense of well-being in the building.

The necessities for lighting design in a WELL certified project should be provided by professional lighting designers, like myself, who keep up with evidence on the quality of lighting design and its effects on those in work settings that people are in for an average of 35 hours per week.

Requirements for lighting levels, fixtures and windows, for instance, can be optimized to match the human body’s circadian rhythms, and to be more productive and alert during the day and to achieve better sleep patterns at night. Additionally, lighting locations, glare control and illumination levels should be implemented to provide the highest level of functionality for the many tasks required in work zones in an office setting without straining the sensory systems for better productivity.

For more information visit:  https://standard.wellcertified.com.

Doreen Le May Madden, LC, CLC, IES