Healthy Buildings – Just What The Doctor Ordered? 6

Healthy Buildings – Just What The Doctor Ordered?

Healthy Buildings – Just What The Doctor Ordered? 1

Healthy Buildings – Just What The Doctor Ordered?

In 1860 Florence Nightingale wrote of the importance of keeping windows open to make for a healthier environment, however, these days it is more likely for your Doctor to advise you to “get more sleep” than question you about the amount of daylight and fresh air you receive at the office.

People spend more than 90% of their time inside the artificial environments such as offices , so it makes sense for us to create indoor spaces we enjoy spending time in and that positively affect our health and wellbeing. Yet it is rare that we consider buildings a factor that influences our health.

A healthy building ought to work on behalf of the people working in it and allows them to operate at their highest functionality. If the building enables the people within to work in a productive, healthy space, then it creates a more efficient and positive working environment which is beneficial to both employer and employee.

There is no deep mystery about how to create healthier buildings; the major components of healthy environments have everything to do with creating space not for itself, but for the people who inhabit it.

The two main influencers are thought to be improved ventilation and better lighting, however Angela Loder, a professor at the University of Denver and researcher in health, buildings and urban nature, adds to this by suggesting that research “has the potential to dramatically improve” the way buildings affect people.

Loder believes that there are three key branches of research in the field of healthy buildings:

Materials and Ventilation

It is well known that hazardous substances used in building can lead to a rise in asthma cases. But generally, using cheaper and low-quality building materials can have negative implications for everyone as they can impair “the ability to make complicated decisions, to focus, and to problem-solve.”

Access to Nature

Loder belies that by increasing access to views of nature and the great outdoors one can benefit from improved mood and increased productivity. “Recent trends in green building and landscape architecture are incorporating nature into buildings, seen in green roofs, green walls, and prioritizing views of nature,” Loder suggests. “For example, in my own research I found that viewing a green roof from the workplace led to 50% better concentration and feelings of calm wellbeing, better problem-solving, and a sense of hope.”

Amount of Natural Light

Increasing the amount of natural light into a building was once considered a ‘soft’ benefit for employees but it is now thought to dramatically improve the wellbeing of a building’s inhabitants. In schools, more robust natural light is believed to have shown improved test scores and reduced student absence.

So, creating a healthy building and working environment answer the prayers of businesses wanting to increase or appease employee satisfaction, but does it make good business sense?

Salaries and benefits can make up to 85% of total workplace costs making employee satisfaction vital for any business. It has been suggested that recruitment and retention of employees is higher for companies that invest in indoor environmental quality which can result in significant cost savings such as a reduction in absences due to illness.

Considering that the average payback period of initial investment into creating healthy work environments is only two years, it would seem that providing a healthy building in which employees will operate should be an easy decision for any employer to make.

After all, surely no company would want to have a beautiful building that contains miserable employees.

MOBILE VERSION STARTS HERE

Healthy Buildings – Just What The Doctor Ordered? 2

Healthy Buildings – Just What The Doctor Ordered?

In 1860 Florence Nightingale wrote of the importance of keeping windows open to make for a healthier environment, however, these days it is more likely for your Doctor to advise you to “get more sleep” than question you about the amount of daylight and fresh air you receive at the office.

People spend more than 90% of their time inside the artificial environments such as offices , so it makes sense for us to create indoor spaces we enjoy spending time in and that positively affect our health and wellbeing. Yet it is rare that we consider buildings a factor that influences our health.

A healthy building ought to work on behalf of the people working in it and allows them to operate at their highest functionality. If the building enables the people within to work in a productive, healthy space, then it creates a more efficient and positive working environment which is beneficial to both employer and employee.

There is no deep mystery about how to create healthier buildings; the major components of healthy environments have everything to do with creating space not for itself, but for the people who inhabit it.

The two main influencers are thought to be improved ventilation and better lighting, however Angela Loder, a professor at the University of Denver and researcher in health, buildings and urban nature, adds to this by suggesting that research “has the potential to dramatically improve” the way buildings affect people.

Loder believes that there are three key branches of research in the field of healthy buildings:

Materials and Ventilation

It is well known that hazardous substances used in building can lead to a rise in asthma cases. But generally, using cheaper and low-quality building materials can have negative implications for everyone as they can impair “the ability to make complicated decisions, to focus, and to problem-solve.”

Access to Nature

Loder belies that by increasing access to views of nature and the great outdoors one can benefit from improved mood and increased productivity. “Recent trends in green building and landscape architecture are incorporating nature into buildings, seen in green roofs, green walls, and prioritizing views of nature,” Loder suggests. “For example, in my own research I found that viewing a green roof from the workplace led to 50% better concentration and feelings of calm wellbeing, better problem-solving, and a sense of hope.”

Amount of Natural Light

Increasing the amount of natural light into a building was once considered a ‘soft’ benefit for employees but it is now thought to dramatically improve the wellbeing of a building’s inhabitants. In schools, more robust natural light is believed to have shown improved test scores and reduced student absence.

So, creating a healthy building and working environment answer the prayers of businesses wanting to increase or appease employee satisfaction, but does it make good business sense?

Salaries and benefits can make up to 85% of total workplace costs making employee satisfaction vital for any business. It has been suggested that recruitment and retention of employees is higher for companies that invest in indoor environmental quality which can result in significant cost savings such as a reduction in absences due to illness.

Considering that the average payback period of initial investment into creating healthy work environments is only two years, it would seem that providing a healthy building in which employees will operate should be an easy decision for any employer to make.

After all, surely no company would want to have a beautiful building that contains miserable employees.

MOBILE VERSION FINISHES HERE


Related Articles

How can we help?

If you have a question about Sundeala Boards, need a quote for one of our products or want to talk about circular manufacturing and how we can work together, please drop us a line and one of our expert team will get in touch as soon as possible!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

A Breath of Fresh Air - The Rise of “Smog Eating” Buildings 12

A Breath of Fresh Air - The Rise of “Smog Eating” Buildings

A Breath of Fresh Air - The Rise of “Smog Eating” Buildings 7

A Breath of Fresh Air - The Rise of “Smog Eating” Buildings

With the majority of Britons living outside major cities, the worries of air pollution do not keep many people awake at night. However, in some cities around the world the rise in air pollution levels has become so impactful that architects and engineers are now forced to consider technological solutions in building and infrastructure design.

Data released by The World Health Organisation (WHO) 2016 revealed that air pollution is now the biggest environmental cause of death. Their research shows that 6.5 million people, primarily in major cities, died in 2012 due to polluted air with 268,000 of these deaths occurring in Europe.

Many countries are now working hard alongside international agreements in order to restrict emissions; however, some of the worst affected cities are now looking to technological solutions in building and infrastructure design.

One example of this is the Manuel Gea González Hospital in Mexico City. Due to the rapidly increasing levels of air pollution in the city, the owners have added a ‘smog-eating’ façade which covers 2,500 square metres encompassing the hospital.

The revolutionary façade system consists of thermoformed shells which are then coated in photocatalytic titanium dioxide which reacts with daylight to neutralise certain elements of air pollution with the aim of ultimately negating the effects of up to 1,000 cars a day.

Sheffield’s ‘smog-eating’ banner associates closely to the creation of “catalytic clothing”; a collaboration between designer Helen Storey and polymer chemist Tony Ryan. Storey and Ryan are exploring how clothing and textiles can be used as a catalytic surface to purify air by adding titanium dioxide nano-particles to laundry detergent, effectively allowing wearers of “catalytic” garments to neutralise pollutants in the environment simply by wearing said garments in natural daylight.

While it is obvious that ‘smog-eating’ buildings are a technically brilliant solution to an ever-increasing problem facing the modern world, they need to be appearing and increasing at a rate which matches our global crisis.

MOBILE VERSION STARTS HERE

A Breath of Fresh Air - The Rise of “Smog Eating” Buildings 8

A Breath of Fresh Air - The Rise of “Smog Eating” Buildings

With the majority of Britons living outside major cities, the worries of air pollution do not keep many people awake at night. However, in some cities around the world the rise in air pollution levels has become so impactful that architects and engineers are now forced to consider technological solutions in building and infrastructure design.

Data released by The World Health Organisation (WHO) 2016 revealed that air pollution is now the biggest environmental cause of death. Their research shows that 6.5 million people, primarily in major cities, died in 2012 due to polluted air with 268,000 of these deaths occurring in Europe.

Many countries are now working hard alongside international agreements in order to restrict emissions; however, some of the worst affected cities are now looking to technological solutions in building and infrastructure design.

One example of this is the Manuel Gea González Hospital in Mexico City. Due to the rapidly increasing levels of air pollution in the city, the owners have added a ‘smog-eating’ façade which covers 2,500 square metres encompassing the hospital.

The revolutionary façade system consists of thermoformed shells which are then coated in photocatalytic titanium dioxide which reacts with daylight to neutralise certain elements of air pollution with the aim of ultimately negating the effects of up to 1,000 cars a day.

Sheffield’s ‘smog-eating’ banner associates closely to the creation of “catalytic clothing”; a collaboration between designer Helen Storey and polymer chemist Tony Ryan. Storey and Ryan are exploring how clothing and textiles can be used as a catalytic surface to purify air by adding titanium dioxide nano-particles to laundry detergent, effectively allowing wearers of “catalytic” garments to neutralise pollutants in the environment simply by wearing said garments in natural daylight.

While it is obvious that ‘smog-eating’ buildings are a technically brilliant solution to an ever-increasing problem facing the modern world, they need to be appearing and increasing at a rate which matches our global crisis.

MOBILE VERSION FINISHES HERE


Related Articles

How can we help?

If you have a question about Sundeala Boards, need a quote for one of our products or want to talk about circular manufacturing and how we can work together, please drop us a line and one of our expert team will get in touch as soon as possible!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Student Accommodation Insights 18

Student Accommodation Insights

Student Accommodation Insights 13

Student Accommodation Insights

Despite the fact that the average student debt is in excess of £50k, it is clear that students still see the value in higher education and the majority still choose their university experience based on things other than financial outlay. With such high figures now at steak on a ‘per student’ basis, it is no surprise that the higher education sector is seeing greater and greater marketisation as competition between universities to fill lucrative seats grows and universities seek out new avenues to entice students to their establishment.

Market Trends

The National Union of Students’ ‘Homes Fit For Study’ research project reports that 45% of students claim that the quality of student accommodation plays a part in their choice of institution with 18% identifying this as the key deciding factor. The student experience which has historically been branded a ‘beans on toast’ existence, tolerated for the pursuit of education and enlightenment, has undergone a drastic overhaul in the past five years and today it is clear that the student ‘lifestyle’ is at least as big a draw for many students as a first-rate education.

In light of this, it is perhaps unsurprising that in 2016 records were broken for global investment into student accommodation as figures rose over $16bn. Global interest in student accommodation is growing, particularly in the UK where over $5.8bn (£4.5 billion) of investment poured into the sector. The purpose-built bed spaces in the UK topped the 600,000 mark for the 2017/18 academic year and shows no sign of slowing down.

The Student Expectation

Students paying in excess of fifty thousand pounds for their university experience have higher expectations than ever before. With first-year students still overwhelmingly choosing to live in university halls, the onus is on social spaces and friendship building with exciting and engaging common spaces consistently coming into the top ten demands students have for their living space (with superfast Wifi unsurprisingly taking the top spot in all polls). Exciting common spaces and a top location though continue to play second fiddle to a desire to be able to customise and personalise a space.

Five years ago, the design impetus for student accommodation was bright, white spaces with sleek contemporary finishes. White gloss and glass surfaces were abundant and the modern ‘city-living’ style quickly drew students to accommodation. Despite this, the satisfaction rating for purpose-built halls remained low and an NUS survey showed that respondents living in halls were least likely to report that their accommodation felt like home.

Students called for comfortable, cosy study areas with notice boards that allowed them to display photographs, tickets, cards and other items that would allow their living space to feel more like home. Sundeala Ltd has seen a rising demand for fabric-covered pinnable notice boards to accommodate this trend without losing the design-led feel.

Build Considerations

Now, more than ever, students are acutely aware of the need for security and safety in their living environments. Both of these elements featured heavily in poll responses reviewing areas of importance. Particularly in light of the unfortunate events at Grenfell in the summer of 2017, the 2017/18 academic year saw a greater focus than ever before on the fire safety of student accommodation, with one major provider choosing to replace wall coverings with fire-resistant notice boards through over 50,000 rooms across the UK.

The refurbishment and redesign cycle in the student accommodation sector is one of the fastest moving of any building sector as students with their fingers on the pulse of rapidly changing trends can easily consider a three-year-old design trend ‘outdated’.

Another major consideration in the student accommodation build sector is the growing demand for sustainability from the student sector. Research conducted by student unions showed that over 80% of students want their institution to incorporate and actively promote sustainability, results that remain unchanged over four consecutive years of conducting the study. Sustainable furniture and materials are of paramount importance to the student accommodation market and the use of recycled and recyclable materials create a strong selling point with target audiences.

MOBILE VERSION STARTS HERE

Student Accommodation Insights 14

Student Accommodation Insights

Despite the fact that the average student debt is in excess of £50k, it is clear that students still see the value in higher education and the majority still choose their university experience based on things other than financial outlay. With such high figures now at steak on a ‘per student’ basis, it is no surprise that the higher education sector is seeing greater and greater marketisation as competition between universities to fill lucrative seats grows and universities seek out new avenues to entice students to their establishment.

Market Trends

The National Union of Students’ ‘Homes Fit For Study’ research project reports that 45% of students claim that the quality of student accommodation plays a part in their choice of institution with 18% identifying this as the key deciding factor. The student experience which has historically been branded a ‘beans on toast’ existence, tolerated for the pursuit of education and enlightenment, has undergone a drastic overhaul in the past five years and today it is clear that the student ‘lifestyle’ is at least as big a draw for many students as a first-rate education.

In light of this, it is perhaps unsurprising that in 2016 records were broken for global investment into student accommodation as figures rose over $16bn. Global interest in student accommodation is growing, particularly in the UK where over $5.8bn (£4.5 billion) of investment poured into the sector. The purpose-built bed spaces in the UK topped the 600,000 mark for the 2017/18 academic year and shows no sign of slowing down.

The Student Expectation

Students paying in excess of fifty thousand pounds for their university experience have higher expectations than ever before. With first-year students still overwhelmingly choosing to live in university halls, the onus is on social spaces and friendship building with exciting and engaging common spaces consistently coming into the top ten demands students have for their living space (with superfast Wifi unsurprisingly taking the top spot in all polls). Exciting common spaces and a top location though continue to play second fiddle to a desire to be able to customise and personalise a space.

Five years ago, the design impetus for student accommodation was bright, white spaces with sleek contemporary finishes. White gloss and glass surfaces were abundant and the modern ‘city-living’ style quickly drew students to accommodation. Despite this, the satisfaction rating for purpose-built halls remained low and an NUS survey showed that respondents living in halls were least likely to report that their accommodation felt like home.

Students called for comfortable, cosy study areas with notice boards that allowed them to display photographs, tickets, cards and other items that would allow their living space to feel more like home. Sundeala Ltd has seen a rising demand for fabric-covered pinnable notice boards to accommodate this trend without losing the design-led feel.

Build Considerations

Now, more than ever, students are acutely aware of the need for security and safety in their living environments. Both of these elements featured heavily in poll responses reviewing areas of importance. Particularly in light of the unfortunate events at Grenfell in the summer of 2017, the 2017/18 academic year saw a greater focus than ever before on the fire safety of student accommodation, with one major provider choosing to replace wall coverings with fire-resistant notice boards through over 50,000 rooms across the UK.

The refurbishment and redesign cycle in the student accommodation sector is one of the fastest moving of any building sector as students with their fingers on the pulse of rapidly changing trends can easily consider a three-year-old design trend ‘outdated’.

Another major consideration in the student accommodation build sector is the growing demand for sustainability from the student sector. Research conducted by student unions showed that over 80% of students want their institution to incorporate and actively promote sustainability, results that remain unchanged over four consecutive years of conducting the study. Sustainable furniture and materials are of paramount importance to the student accommodation market and the use of recycled and recyclable materials create a strong selling point with target audiences.

MOBILE VERSION FINISHES HERE


Related Articles

How can we help?

If you have a question about Sundeala Boards, need a quote for one of our products or want to talk about circular manufacturing and how we can work together, please drop us a line and one of our expert team will get in touch as soon as possible!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Fire & Pin Board Materials – Performance, Classification & Compliance 24

Fire & Pin Board Materials – Performance, Classification & Compliance

Fire & Pin Board Materials – Performance, Classification & Compliance 19

Fire & Pin Board Materials – Performance, Classification & Compliance

When specifying products, many types of materials means many types of considerations. Nonetheless, the one key consideration that tends to be high on the list time and again is Fire.

Buildings such as schools and hospitals require enhanced fire safety strategies where every detail is taken into account. This includes notice boards since they are a common feature of the interior.

In this second piece of our Fire series, we look at the behaviour, ratings and regulatory conformity of six different pinnable notice board cores to assist specifiers in making the right choices.

Click here to read the rest on Barbour’s website here.

MOBILE VERSION STARTS HERE

Fire & Pin Board Materials – Performance, Classification & Compliance 20

Fire & Pin Board Materials – Performance, Classification & Compliance

When specifying products, many types of materials means many types of considerations. Nonetheless, the one key consideration that tends to be high on the list time and again is Fire.

Buildings such as schools and hospitals require enhanced fire safety strategies where every detail is taken into account. This includes notice boards since they are a common feature of the interior.

In this second piece of our Fire series, we look at the behaviour, ratings and regulatory conformity of six different pinnable notice board cores to assist specifiers in making the right choices.

Click here to read the rest on Barbour’s website here.

MOBILE VERSION FINISHES HERE


Related Articles

How can we help?

If you have a question about Sundeala Boards, need a quote for one of our products or want to talk about circular manufacturing and how we can work together, please drop us a line and one of our expert team will get in touch as soon as possible!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Inspiring Classroom Designs 40

Inspiring Classroom Designs

Inspiring Classroom Designs 25

Inspiring Classroom Designs

Inspiring teachers are often the reason behind truly extraordinary learning experiences and cherished childhood memories. However, inspiring classrooms and learning spaces can also play a vital role in capturing imaginations and mastering crucial skills.

Check out our rundown of these inspiring, stimulating and exciting learning spaces.

Inspiring Classroom Designs 26

The Windermere School

The Windermere School, in the Lake District National Park, has three of these incredible tree-top classrooms. The eco-friendly classroom pods stand on wooden stilts connected by a centre deck made from recycled materials.

Photograph: Windermere School

Inspiring Classroom Designs 27

Rosendale Primary School

Rosendale Primary School in London desperately needed a library for its students but had no room on site to build one. To find a solution they worked with designer Kate Gorely and Forge Architects to create this incredible learning space. This fantastic learning space also won the School Library Association Library Design Award for 2011.

Photograph: Kate Gorely

Inspiring Classroom Designs 28

Bright and cheerful classroom design

This bright and cheerful classroom design will help to enthuse and engage students. Use of bright colours and natural light in a learning environment is thought to increase mental alertness whilst the configuration of furniture ensures all student can see and hear their Teacher at all times.

Inspiring Classroom Designs 29

Immersive learning space

This is a fantastic example of an immersive learning space that can become anything or anywhere! Light, sound and projection facilities in this room make it ideal for performing arts as it can be changed in an instant to create the perfect setting for engaging, experiential lessons.

Photograph: 4Dcreative

Inspiring Classroom Designs 30

Feltonfleet School

When faced with an increasing student population, Feltonfleet school in Cobham soon realised it needed more space. Rather than extend existing buildings they decided upon an eco-friendly treehouse learning space and found it to be a cost-effective and sustainable way to extend teaching space.

Photograph: Blue Forest

MOBILE VERSION STARTS HERE

Inspiring Classroom Designs 31

Inspiring Classroom Designs

Inspiring teachers are often the reason behind truly extraordinary learning experiences and cherished childhood memories. However, inspiring classrooms and learning spaces can also play a vital role in capturing imaginations and mastering crucial skills.

Check out our rundown of these inspiring, stimulating and exciting learning spaces.

Inspiring Classroom Designs 32

The Windermere School

The Windermere School, in the Lake District National Park, has three of these incredible tree-top classrooms. The eco-friendly classroom pods stand on wooden stilts connected by a centre deck made from recycled materials.

Photograph: Windermere School

Inspiring Classroom Designs 33

Rosendale Primary School

Rosendale Primary School in London desperately needed a library for its students but had no room on site to build one. To find a solution they worked with designer Kate Gorely and Forge Architects to create this incredible learning space. This fantastic learning space also won the School Library Association Library Design Award for 2011.

Photograph: Kate Gorely

Inspiring Classroom Designs 34

Bright and cheerful classroom design

This bright and cheerful classroom design will help to enthuse and engage students. Use of bright colours and natural light in a learning environment is thought to increase mental alertness whilst the configuration of furniture ensures all student can see and hear their Teacher at all times.

Inspiring Classroom Designs 35

Immersive learning space

This is a fantastic example of an immersive learning space that can become anything or anywhere! Light, sound and projection facilities in this room make it ideal for performing arts as it can be changed in an instant to create the perfect setting for engaging, experiential lessons.

Photograph: 4Dcreative

Inspiring Classroom Designs 36

Feltonfleet School

When faced with an increasing student population, Feltonfleet school in Cobham soon realised it needed more space. Rather than extend existing buildings they decided upon an eco-friendly treehouse learning space and found it to be a cost-effective and sustainable way to extend teaching space.

Photograph: Blue Forest

MOBILE VERSION FINISHES HERE


Related Articles

How can we help?

If you have a question about Sundeala Boards, need a quote for one of our products or want to talk about circular manufacturing and how we can work together, please drop us a line and one of our expert team will get in touch as soon as possible!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.