Case study

Light Characterisation for BRE

Wave Illumination are proud to work in conjunction with the Building Research Establishment on Biophilia research office spaces, in one of the largest office wellbeing studies currently underway.

Aim

Wave Illumination will continuously log spectral light measurements, before and after a biophilic refurbishment, to analyze and evaluate the benefits of the biophilia approach.

Overview

Wave Illumination are a Contributing Partner to BRE’s Biophilic Office project, providing full spectral light logging capabilities to help grow the data potential of the experiment.

Problem

To establish the light-related benefits of biophilic office design to employee productivity and wellness, including reducing absenteeism due to illness.

We spend about 90% of our lives indoors – health and wellbeing are now chiefly influenced by the built environment. Biophilic design aims to simulate the natural environment indoors. This human-centered approach to the design of the built environment can improve many of the spaces that we live and work in, with numerous benefits to our health, wellbeing and efficiency.

Evidence for the positive influence of natural design on the health and wellbeing of building occupants is substantial and growing. It has already demonstrated the potential to positively impact the mental and physical wellbeing of employees. Biophilia increases productivity by 15%, increases creativity, improves staff retention, and reduces absenteeism. BRE is endeavoring to grow the quantitative evidence surrounding biophilia principles and their impact on welfare and productivity of staff.

Solution

The project aims to answer three questions:

  1. What practical and cost-effective interventions can office owners implement to improve health and wellbeing?
  2. Can these be quantified as part of the decision-making process?
  3. Can products used in the refurbishment of a building be measured for their “health and wellbeing potential”?

To answer these, BRE is conducting a biophilia refurbishment within their office space in Watford. The office will be fully analyzed before and after refurbishment, evaluating the office for daylight, lighting, indoor air quality, acoustic, and thermal comfort. The office occupants will also undergo health evaluations, participate in a series of surveys, and receive wearable technology to monitor key health metrics. This data collection will take place 1 year prior to and 1 year following the refurbishment.

Impact

Where have Wave Illumination made a difference?

BRE are working with Wave Illumination to log spectral data throughout their space to assess available lighting – natural and artificial. The built-in, automatic logging functionality is critical to the continuous collection of robust data without needing to manually record measurements. Using metrics like Lux, Correlated Color Temperature, Equivalent Melanopic Lux, and Color Rendering Index, all calculated automatically in the WaveGo App, BRE can objectively evaluate the quality of lighting available to employees, gauge how closely the artificial light mimics natural light, and determine whether government standards dictating workplace lighting are being met.

Stay tuned for the first round of spectral light data and analyses on how the current BRE office is performing!

For more information on The Biophilic Office, go to www.bregroup.com/biophilic

The Biophilic Office from BRE on Vimeo.

Sources:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/a-million-workers-off-sick-for-more-than-a-month
http://www.interface.com/EU/en-GB/campaign/biophilic-design/Biophilic-Design-en_GB
https://www.oliverheath.com/the-biophilic-office/#_ftnref1