Built Environment

​Our living conditions is of great importance to put physical and mental health, and we want to test ways to improve indoor climate using daylight, artificial light, sound and ventilation. We also focus on the effect of placement of living conditions regarding access to daylight, noise and light pollution.

Ongoing projects

Currently NID-Group is researching in the effect of the indoor environment on mental health, focusing on access to daylight, artificial lighting and ventilation. Through practical field studies in hospitals, schools and in public housing, the effect of the indoor climate on mental health is elaborated. Currently NID-Group is working on new school buildings and a new hospital building, planning to document the effect of the indoor climate on the occupants of the buildings though the year, summer and winter. These seasonal effects of daylight are analyzed and related to different parameters, describing the seasonal effects on the built environment and the mental health of the inhabitants. 

  • Room-Light: Dynamic LED-light versus static LED-light for depressed in patients – a randomised clinical trial

The objective of this study is to investigate the antidepressant efficacy of a newly developed dynamic LED-lighting system installed in an inpatient ward.
In all, 150 inpatients with a major depressive episode, as part of either a major depressive disorder or as part of a bipolar disorder, will be included. The design is a two-arm 1:1 randomised study with a dynamic LED-lighting arm and a static LED-lighting arm, both as add-on to usual treatment in an inpatient psychiatric ward.

Inclusion of patients started in April 2018

   


Upcoming projects

  • Effects of indoor environmental quality on user satisfaction and concentration – a demonstration project at Feldballe Friskole

A cohort study including 7th grade and 8/9th grade pupils in a new school building.
Expected outcomes: Effects of Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) on user satisfaction, learning and concentration. Data collection over 2 years in standard building and in an intervention building, respectively. Questionnaire distributed summer and winter (September/February).
Intervention period: August 2021 - June 2024 

  • Room-Light 1:1 Ny psykiatri Bispebjerg: Energy efficient dim-evening lighting and dynamic daylight-control adjusted for geographical orientation. Effects on energy consumption and user satisfaction in a post-occupancy-evaluation of a new psychiatric hospital

Inclusion of the first patients is expected to start in June 2022



Finalized projects

  • Daylight and Green Cities International, interdisciplinary workshop arranged by Carlo Volf and Christoph Kueffer in The Daylight Academy 2018 – 2020.

The workshop builds on the unique interdisciplinary nature of the Daylight Academy and assembles international experts to establish a framework that enables the design of urban areas to maximize the benefits of daylight, as well as the design of green solutions for buildings based on daylight. A major recent trend of urbanization is to bring nature in all its forms back into urban design and thereby cities. Catchwords are green cities, green and blue infrastructure, or nature-based solutions. Urban designers realize that built infrastructure cannot provide all the services that urban people depend on, or these grey infrastructures can only do it in a more costly way than green infrastructure (ecosystems, vegetation and soils) or blue infrastructure (rivers, lakes, and wetlands). The future of cities will depend on integrating nature-based solutions with engineering technical innovation, and acknowledging that human beings depend on nature experiences and natural environments. Green and blue infrastructures have been shown to improve life quality and health (both psychological and physical) and such urban ecology is at the forefront of major funding agencies and public initiatives at national level and local level in all major cities.

Daylight Academy: https://daylight.academy

Results are expected to be published during 2021. 

  • Room-Light: Dynamic LED-light as treatment for depressed patients in inpatient wards – a feasibility trial (2018-2020) 

We developed and installed a dynamic LED-lighting system in four rooms in a psychiatric inpatient ward. The system consisted of (A) a large LED luminaire built into the window jamb mimicking sunlight reflections, (B) two LED light luminaires in the ceiling and (C) a LED reading luminaire. Patients with unipolar or bipolar depression were randomized to dynamic (intervention) or static (standard) LED-lighting for 4 weeks.
Results: No participants discontinued due to discomfort from the LED-lighting. Recruitment rate was 39.8%, dropout from treatment rates were 56.3% in the dynamic group and 33.3% in the static group. 78.1% in the dynamic group were satisfied with the lighting compared with 71.8% in the static group. Discomfort from the light (glare) was reported by 11.5% in the dynamic group compared to 5.1% in the static group. Endpoint suicidal scores were 16.8 (10.4) in the dynamic and 16.3 (14.9) in the static group. The lighting system was 100% functional. The light sensor system proved unstable.
Please see publication in the Publication section


  • Indoor Environmental Quality in schools: NO-TECH solution versus standard solution - a pilot study (2019-2020)

We investigated two different Indoor Environmental Quality solutions in two classrooms in two 5th grades in a primary school north of Copenhagen. We compared a new indoor climate system consisting of natural ventilation (NO-TECH) with a standard indoor climate system, consisting of mechanical ventilation (standard). The study aimed to investigate whether the NO-TECH solution could promote a better health, wellbeing and concentration in students.
Results: The NO-TECH solution performed better regarding in sitting still in the classroom in the morning, a better learning in the morning, and a better sleep with fewer awakenings at night. The standard solution performed less noise inside or outside. Teachers in the NO-TECH classroom experienced a higher energy-drive, a colder temperature with fresher air and with less odor during the day compared to the standard solution.
The publication is in preparation
Film about "Healthy schools" from Sustainable Build Challenge", april 2019 Watch the film here.

Baggrunden for studiet (dansk): Igennem de seneste årtier har energikrav og arkitektur forandret den måde, vi planlægger skoler og deres indeklima. Specifikke krav til lufttilførsel i kombination med krav til energirammer i Bygningsreglementet fra 1995 (BR95) har ført til at næsten alle skoler efter 1995 er opført som ”lufttætte” bygninger med mekanisk ventilation og varmegenvinding. Ser man tilbage i tiden, har dette dog langt fra altid været gængs praksis, hverken indenfor skolebyggeri eller byggeriet generelt i Danmark. Denne artikel beskriver en ny behovsstyret indeklimaløsning, kaldet NOTECH, baseret på naturlig ventilation. I projektet undersøges NOTECH løsningens indvirkning på indeklima og energiforbrug i en grundskoleklasse. I undersøgelsen sammenlignes et klasselokale med NOTECH systemet med et andet klasselokale med en konventionel løsning, baseret på mekanisk ventilation.
Resultaterne af undersøgelsen peger på, at mekanisk ventilation ikke altid behøver at være den mest bæredygtige løsning og, at der findes andre veje, når det gælder et godt indeklima på skoler. Overordnet viser resultaterne at både det behovsstyrede,naturlige ventilationssystem NOTECH og det mekaniske ventilationssystem, ved en belastning på 16 elever og 1-2 undervisere, kan opnå tilfredsstillende CO2-niveauer på under 1000 ppm, indendørs komforttemperaturer, relativ luftfugtighed og støjniveauer.
Resultaterne af undersøgelsen viser samtidigt store forskelle imellem de to systemer når det gælder samlede installationsomkostninger og estimerede driftsomkostninger til elektricitet, opvarmning og vedligeholdelse. Disse omkostninger viser sig, at være markant lavere for NOTECH-løsningen, og udgør kun omkring 35 % af det mekaniske ventilationssystem. Endelig viser resultaterne, at NOTECH-løsningen giver mindre CO2-belastning for indlejrede byggematerialer, og derved reducerer det samlede CO2-aftryk med 95 % sammenlignet med den mekaniske ventilationsløsning.
  • Room-light 1:1 - Ny Psykiatri Bispebjerg (1:1 mock-up)

Projektet udvikler og etablerer en fuldskala drejbar 1:1 mockup af en patient sengestue på det kommende Ny Bispebjerg Hospital. Igennem registreringer af dagslys og temperaturer i patient sengestuen, søger projektet, at afdække de naturlige forskelle og begrænsninger, forårsaget af den geografiske orientering og undersøge de udendørs døgnvariationer og deres indvirkning på indeklimaet, med henblik på, at skabe en balance mellem på den ene side dagslys og behov for dynamisk LED-belysning og på den anden side kravet om aktiv og passiv køling ved hjælp af mekanisk og naturlig ventilation. Analysen ser i den forbindelse også på de potentielle sundhedsmæssige aspekter af dagslys og frisk luft og foreslår en ny strategi for dynamisk kunstig belysning og dynamisk mekanisk ventilation, kaldet Geographical Orientation Compensated Architectural Planning, GOCAP. En strategi, som inddeler dagen i henholdsvis en morgenperiode og et aftenperiode, med henblik på, at reducere bygningens samlede energiforbrug. Rapporten analyserer i den forbindelsemuligheden for, at udnytte naturligt lys og naturlig ventilation, baseret på to hovedparametre.
1) Den geografiske orientering (N, S, Ø og V)
2) Årstid (sommer og vinter).
Fysiske målinger i 1:1 mockup suppleres med computersimuleringer for at vurdere behovet for ventilation og for at vurdere, hvordan naturlig ventilation kan supplere og erstatte mekanisk ventilation på forskellige tidspunkter af året. Baseret på målinger og analyser foreslår rapporten en ny metode for projektering af indeklimaet, der kan reducere energiforbruget til belysning med 20 – 40 % og energiforbruget til ventilation med minimum 40 %.
  • Light, Architecture and Health - a Method. by Carlo Volf, Architect MAA, Ph.D.

An Asymmetrical Solar Architecture: In the beginning of the 20th century, light served as a preventive and healing element in the architecture. However, with the prevalence of penicillin in the 1940´s, attention was drawn towards a more medical treatment rather than prevention through architecture. In this doctoral dissertation Carlo Volf puts renewed emphasis and focus upon light and architecture and their shared significance to health. The thesis sets out to find a balance between exposure and protection from the sunlight and concludes that it is possible to base the architecture on a healthier light if the architecture partly is planned deliberately according to East, South, West and North, and partly in relation to the body's circadian rhythm. The thesis introduces an overall architectural approach which responds the asymmetrical light of the sun by being – in itself – asymmetrical. Be it in the form of asymmetrical building shapes, facades, apertures or artificial lighting.


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