Architecture has always been representative of changing eras and preserving the importance of cultures. Adding healthier environments is a recent challenge that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has found to be critical in the modern world. Taking into consideration building materials, lighting and structural competence in disaster-prone areas, architecture is providing many answers to safer and healthier structures.
Green Building Materials
LEED 2009 led architects to become more conscious in their selection of building materials. This national rating system was designed to enhance human health and well-being by taking a close look at the toxins that are released in many new buildings. Indoor Environment Quality (IAQ) have prompted architects to become resourceful in finding new building materials and techniques to improve air quality.
Quality of Lighting
It has become evident through the WELL Building Standard that lighting can reduce stress and increase physical and mental well-being. Many architects now use technology to measure the parameters, known as equivalent melanopic lux, to improve the quality of light in workstation areas. This is done by use of natural lighting, shading, strategic window sizing and electrochromic glass.
Resilience and the new urban agenda are terms that the AIA has put into place in order to design better buildings in environments that are prone to natural disasters. Not only is the AIA acting on creating new alternative structures, but are also redesigning existing buildings that can withstand whatever Mother Nature has to dish out.
Heart disease and diabetes are among the top physical problems in American society. The AIA is relevant in incorporating movement in structures that increase the needed activity of individuals. More stairs, easier access to sunlight, fresh air and clean water are all used in architectural designs of today.
According to Robert Ivy, CEO of the American Institute of Architects, a new generation of architects have been key in producing health-focused solutions to changing societies. Instead of thinking of well-being as a general term, the physical aspects of design are only a small portion of the equation. Including emotional and spiritual interaction as part of the design is the new way of thinking in creating a healthier and productive atmosphere.
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