High Performance Buildings: Focus on the Health, Well-being and Comfort of Occupants

Monday, April 23, 3:20 - 4:10 PM

Speaker(s): Aimee Smith

As we strive to create the next generation of sustainable, high performance laboratory buildings, the health, well-being and comfort of the occupants is critical. For a building design to be considered high performing, not only must it operate efficiently, it must also create a hyper productive space where occupants feel motivated and inspired to the point where they genuinely enjoy coming to work. Considering the design of the roof scape holistically to balance the performance of the exhausts from the perspective of both noise propagation and exhaust dispersion is critical to provide a healthy and comfortable space.

Laboratory research buildings are designed for activities that often result in the discharge of various types of hazardous and odorous exhausts, which can also be a significant source of noise. Among the worst offenders are fume hoods, vivaria, specialty hoods (i.e., radioisotope, acid, etc.) and diesel generators. To provide a healthy and comfortable space, it is important to ensure that emissions from the laboratory exhausts do not re-enter the building air supply so that desired air quality levels can be maintained. Noise levels from the exhausts can also infiltrate the building, significantly affecting the comfort level of the occupants. Considering the noise performance and exhaust dispersion behavior holistically can provide an optimized design strategy for the rooftop equipment.

This presentation will discuss the overall benefit of promoting the well-being and comfort of building occupants in the context of factors such as productivity, potential tenant attraction and retention with reference to the intent behind the WELL Building Standard®. The presentation will include different approaches to evaluating and modeling noise levels and exhaust dispersion with specific project examples and how considering these holistically can optimize the overall performance of a laboratory building.

Attendees will learn:

• The value of promoting health, well-being and comfort of occupants to achieve a high performance building with reference to the WELL Building Standard®.

• Gain a thorough understanding of the different approaches for consideration and modeling of noise levels from laboratory buildings.

• A detailed explanation of the preferred tools for exhaust dispersion modeling including discussion of climate data.

• Gain insight to the benefit of considering the performance of the roof scape from a holistic perspective to address challenges from both noise and air quality conditions.