Hurst-Rosche Engineers/Design Architects
HR was recently selected to design the new RMTD Park and Ride facility to be constructed in front of the IL State Office Building and the VA Hospital in Marion, IL. It will support six bus slips, a passenger parking lot, and terminal building with lobby, rest rooms, departure and arrival center as well as an information center promoting the region to those arriving.
After many months of freezing cold weather, ice, and snow, we can officially say we are in the ‘Spring’ season! People emerge from their houses and start socializing along the neighborhood streets and in the parks. Everyone’s moods brighten as the sun now not only shines, but warms their faces as they bask in it. That effect is the glory of natural light and how it makes us feel Bringing the outdoors, inside, is our focus today. Not just bringing a potted plant indoors, (though that is part of it), but incorporating natural elements into Interior Design and Architecture, and how it effects psychology and can provide energy cost savings.
In the last blog it was mentioned that displaying nature images in a healthcare facility can increase the process of recovery. It also improves the moods of people within the space. It is about designing an environment that creates a connection between humans, the built environment, and nature.
In schools, for instance, blinds and other window treatments are often used to reduce the glare that the natural light gives when shining into the space. However, glass with non-glare film can be specified, or the design can include light shelves, which use direct sunlight to the advantage of the space by reflecting it off the shelf’s top surface and directing it to the ceiling and reducing glare and utilizing natural lighting. Incorporating natural light in a space may increase the work ethic of people within the space, improve their moods, and foster positive attitudes.
We have talked about ways to harvest daylight, but there is a specific process called Daylight Harvesting that we also like to incorporate in design. Daylight harvesting can utilize sensors in a space that register the light levels from outside and use dimming to adjust the interior fixtures that are closest to the natural lighting source. This conserves energy and helps assure a more uniformly distributed light through the space.
Another energy saving measure is to provide dimmable LED Lighting. LED Lighting can closely resemble the same color temperature as natural sunlight and not render the bluish tint that fluorescent lighting does. Color temperatures over 5,000K are called cool colors (bluish white), which are frequently used to enhance concentration in offices, while lower color temperatures (2,700–3,000 K) are called warm colors (yellowish white through red) and is often used in public areas to promote relaxation (1, 2). This design approach of providing dimmable LED lighting enhances lighting uniformity throughout a space, requires minimal maintenance, and has a longer lifetime than any other fixture type.
Although most sustainable products like LED lighting are more expensive than fluorescents, fluorescent lighting has a rated life of about 20,000 hours, when LED can easily get you 100,000 hours, therefore saving you money in the long run. It is also a similar situation with flooring. You can spend more money up front for a flooring product that is more sustainable and that has low to no maintenance requirements, or purchase a less expensive product and incur costly repairs and protection over the course of its shorter lifetime.
Now, take a break, and go breathe in some fresh air! Then, call us for a design consultation.
Thanks for reading!
Jessica L. Folmar
Hurst-Rosche Engineers, Inc.
Design Architects, Inc.
1. Rudiger Pashotta (2008). Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology. Wiley-VCH. P. 219. ISBN 978-3-527-40828-3.
2. http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/color12.html Copyright 2009 Bruce MacEvoy.
Hello, and welcome to our Open Book!
There I was, sophomore year of high school looking at class options to take for the next year. AutoCAD and Interior Design….and so it started!
I consider myself very lucky for deciding so early how I wanted to spend the rest of my life. It was going to be designing spaces, changing people’s lives, finding solutions to the world’s problems, and creating innovative ideas.
The world of Architecture, Interior Design, and Engineering is such a part of your everyday life that you may not even realize how much attention goes into the details. I cross bridges every day, thankful that they are there, but not spending the time to think about HOW they actually work. It’s engineers who have the math, the knowledge, and the experience to keep our lives safe as we travel to our loved ones, to work, or wherever the roads may lead. Structures we are thankful for, design we appreciate. If mankind is going to make an impact on Mother Earth, let it enhance its surroundings while it serves a purpose.
Architecture and Engineering is taking on a new trend, lightening the impact they have on Mother Earth. Architects are incorporating sustainable design into building components, and using research to take advantage of the sun angles and seasons of the specific area the building is in.
Buildings used to be built to create status, hierarchy, and depict specific meaningful symbols and shapes, as well as the known purposes of shelter and protection. Today in the world of design, some ways of thinking are similar, but most design is backed up from Evidence-based design - the research and studies of Ergonomics, or, how people interact with each other and their environment. An example of incorporating evidence based design in a facility would be using nature images in a healthcare center. Research shows that it will help heal patients faster. Design is also created by using ‘proxemics’, a term created by anthropologist Edward T. Hall. “Proxemics deals with the issues of spacing between people, territoriality, and organization of space and positioning of people in space all relative to the culture of which they are a part”. (Ballast).
Using an Architect and Interior Designer on your project will greatly enhance the way your building and spaces function and the way your employees work and interact. There is specific knowledge that goes into the details to help create a building and space that increases productivity and brand appearance. After all, the building and interior should be a reflection of you, or your business, because it is the first impression that your clients receive when they walk in your front door.
Closing the book for now,
Jessica L. Folmar
Hurst-Rosche Engineers, Inc.
Design Architects, Inc.
Ballast, David Kent. Interior Design Reference Manual. Belmont, California: Professional Publications, Inc. 2010.