“Companies are starting to think about their real estate as a means for improving the health of their employees,” says Keara Fanning, who leads a sustainability practice at JLL. “As humans, we evolved to wake up with the sun and go to sleep at sundown. When our lighting does the opposite of that, it affects us.” At the architecture firm Arup Group’s Boston office, for example, a circadian lighting design that changes color temperature and intensity throughout the day was installed to help meet one of the features of the WELL Building Standard, a program for buildings, interior spaces and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness. The office balances available natural lighting and an indirect electric lighting design that creates a balanced and well-lit space. At Delos’ WELL Certified Platinum headquarters in New York City’s Meatpacking District, a lighting system combines dynamic, color-changing LEDs with daylight and occupancy sensors to achieve desired light levels and quality throughout the day. Because people spend much of their life at work, office lighting can have an even bigger impact on the body’s signals that it is day or nighttime. “The body likes a clear message,” says Shruti Koparkar, who leads corporate strategy and development at Ecosense Lighting, a company that is developing a proprietary lighting technology with a particular focus on biologically effective lighting through spectral modulation. Ecosense ran an informal experiment on its own employees using a prototype of their dynamic lighting technology in a room with no windows.
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