Archivi tag: wellbeing

Il wellbeing che vorrei.

Appunti per un comfort sostenibile.

Di ritorno da un weekend in un wellness hotel, la domanda principale che mi sono fatto è “Ma, qual è il wellness che vorrei?”. Perché, diciamolo, l’esperienza mi ha lasciato qualche perplessità e mi spinge a tornare ancora una volta sul tema comfort e sostenibilità, ovvero “Un comfort sostenibile ?” Partiamo dagli hotel, che rappresentano proprio un ambito di riferimento per il tema.

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Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur, Rajasthan (India)

Primo punto. Comfort = lusso? Come in questo splendido hotel indiano? Comfort = abbondanza? Ovvero una lista infinita di possibilità e servizi che è impossibile sfruttare tutti, a meno che non si soggiorni nell’albergo per un mese? Perché se tenti di fare tutto in un weekend (e questo è il tempo a disposizione che mi è capitato di avere) ti ricoverano in preda ad una crisi di nervi. La novità degli ultimi anni è la ¾ pensione, che è più di mezza pensione e meno di una pensione completa. Ovvero, torni presto dalla sciata (ma perché dovresti farlo?) e trovi un buffet per uno “spuntino”, magari alle due o alle tre del pomeriggio, che vi assicuro alla fine è come un pranzo. E all’orizzonte incombe la cena, di almeno 5 portate. Nel mezzo, bisogna affrettarsi a frequentare l’area wellness, sperando che vapori e acqua calda ti brucino qualche caloria (difficile).

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Troppi servizi, troppa offerta … riuscirò a far tutto in un weekend??

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WALL•E – Pixar Animation Studios & Walt Disney Pictures (2008)

Insomma lo scenario apocalittico di una società viziata e sedentaria alla “Wall-e” è dietro l’angolo. Ma tutti i suddetti comfort alla fine vengono dimenticati velocemente, se l’impianto di ventilazione dell’albergo è progettato o realizzato male, e nella tua mansarda arriva sin dal primo mattino l’odore di aglio. Allora, prima curare la corretta ventilazione dell’edificio e poi pensare ai succhi di frutta tropicali nell’area piscina.

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In definitiva, il troppo finisce per darmi fastidio e ripenso al “Less is more” di Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Ed è questa ad esempio la strategia intrapresa dalla catena canadese Alt Hotels, che con l’ossimoro “Affordable luxury” caratterizzano la loro offerta con l’eliminazione di tutto ciò che non è davvero necessario, pur mantenendo un adeguato livello di comfort.

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E poi c’è la questione dei “termostati truccati”. Sì, avete capito bene. Una recente indagine documentata sul Wall Street Journal del 25.01.2017 ha scoperto che in un numero rilevante di hotel i termostati sono bloccati e non consentono la regolazione individuale della temperatura nella camera. Cioè, la rotella del termostato gira, ma in realtà la temperatura della stanza è fissata e regolata centralmente dall’hotel. E così sono spuntati in rete addirittura dei tutorial che spiegano come rimuovere il blocco dell’apparecchio e riprendere il comando delle operazioni. Insomma … “Occupy thermostats”.

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Walden Pond, Concord (MA, USA)

Secondo punto. E se tutto questo approccio bulimico al comfort fosse sbagliato? Se avesse ragione Henry David Thoreau (il più sottovalutato dei filosofi americani dell’800)? Se fosse comfort = frugalità?Walden, ovvero Vita nei boschi” è il resoconto dell’avventura dell’autore, che dedicò oltre due anni della propria vita, nell’estate del 1847, a cercare un rapporto intimo con la natura e insieme a ritrovare se stesso in una società che non rappresentava ai suoi occhi i veri valori da seguire, ma solo l’utile mercantile. Il suo fu un esperimento avente per obiettivo quello di cercare la conciliazione tra artista e il mondo naturale grazie all’ottimismo scaturito dal considerare l’uomo come artefice del proprio destino e come essere dipendente da sensazioni ed emozioni. Il libro fu scritto quasi interamente durante il soggiorno di Thoreau in una capanna, costruita in gran parte da solo, sulle sponde del lago Walden che si trova vicino alla cittadina di Concord in Massachusetts [Wikipedia].

Thoreau è sicuramente un riferimento per l’approccio biofilico. Biophilia = ipotesi scientifica proposta nel 1984 da Edward O. Wilson che rileva empiricamente nell’essere umano la “tendenza innata a concentrare il proprio interesse sulla vita e sui processi vitali”. Si può ottenere un comfort sostenibile seguendo questi principi e ci sono ormai molti studi che dimostrano i benefici tangibili sulla salute della persona e sulla riduzione dei costi operativi legati a una progettazione virtuosa degli spazi abitati. Seguendo ad esempio il protocollo (filosofia e sistema di certificazione allo stesso tempo) Living Building Challenge creato e mantenuto dall’International Living Future Institute (ILFI).

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Terzo punto. Viviamo il 90% della nostra vita all’interno di edifici. E’ una notizia tanto assodata quanto banale, ma poiché lo sappiamo, perché non puntiamo a garantire una qualità del vivere all’interno di questi spazi (Indoor Environmental Quality)? E’ la strategia dell’International WELL Building Institute. La riflessione di partenza è semplice: in un’organizzazione (immaginiamo un edificio per uffici) la stragrande maggioranza dei costi operativi riguarda i costi del personale. Circa il 90%, a fronte di un 1% per l’energia. Negli ultimi anni ci siamo battuti per l’efficienza energetica e questo è un bene, perché l’efficienza energetica è amica dell’ambiente. Ma ci siamo dimenticati delle persone. Bene, con il protocollo WELL rimettiamo al centro la persona. Un progetto certificato WELL ha il potenziale di aggiungere un valore misurabile per la salute, il benessere e la felicità degli occupanti dell’edificio. Detto in altri termini, se le persone vivono e lavorano all’interno di un ambiente salubre e confortevole, ne beneficiano umore, salute e quindi produttività. È migliora il margine di profitto. Si tratta di un nuovo ROI (Return on Investment) a beneficio del capitale investito dal conduttore e dal proprietario dell’immobile.

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Quarto punto. Tutto quanto sopra descritto è un driver micidiale per l’innovazione. Solo per quanto riguarda la misurazione e il mantenimento della qualità dell’aria interna di un ambiente stanno spuntando numerose soluzioni interessanti, come ad esempio il purificatore molecolare di aria interna, sviluppato dalla startup di San Francisco Molekule.

Per questo stiamo stimolando in IDM Südtirol Alto Adige la discussione e lo sviluppo di nuove idee proprio attraverso un Gruppo di Lavoro trasversale dedicato alla tematica del comfort e dell’Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ).

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Quinto punto
. Abbiamo detto di quanto contano gli edifici, perché consumano risorse e con la propria efficienza energetica possono ridurre l’impatto sull’ambiente, e perché la qualità (o la mancanza di qualità) degli ambienti interni influenza direttamente la qualità della vita e il comfort delle persone. Quanto abbiamo detto per gli edifici può essere “scalato” a livello di quartieri, comunità, città intere. Gli “edifici viventi” (i Living Building di ILFI) possono trasformarsi in Living Communities. Possiamo riportare i principi virtuosi (un edificio autonomo, che non impatta sull’ambiente, che produce ciò che consuma, che ha un effetto positivo sulle persone) a una dimensione urbana più ampia. Anche questo (o proprio questo) è wellbeing.

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Riepilogando, ecco il mio decalogo per la discussione:

  1. Definire il wellness (lusso vs. frugalità, mass customization?)
  2. Less is more
  3. Dalla sostenibilità ambientale-energetica a quella delle persone
  4. Misurare e certificare le prestazioni e il wellbeing (la persona nell’edificio)
  5. Monitorare il comportamento e dialogare con gli occupanti
  6. Wellbeing come leva economica
  7. Wellness come driver per soluzioni innovative
  8. Declinare il wellbeing per tipologie di edifici (hotel, uffici, scuole, ospedali, ecc.)
  9. Recuperare il rapporto con la natura (Biofilia, Living Buildings)
  10. Saltare di scala: dai Living Buildings alle Living Communities

Siete pronti per un manifesto del comfort sostenibile, per un wellbeing a misura di uomo e di ambiente? 🙂

[Carlo Battisti è Living Future Accredited e WELL Accredited Professional. Coordina il Gruppo di Lavoro Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) presso l’Ecosystem Construction di IDM Südtirol Alto Adige].

RESTORE | REthinking Sustainability TOwards a Regenerative Economy

logo_costApproved by the COST Committee of Senior Officials on 24 October 2016, REthinking Sustainability TOwards a Regenerative Economy (RESTORE) is one out of the 25 new Actions that were selected out of 478 eligible proposals collected earlier in April.

RESTORE: ‘to return something or someone to an earlier good condition or position’.

Sustainable buildings and facilities are critical to a future that is socially just, ecologically restorative, culturally rich and economically viable within the climate change context.

Despite over a decade of strategies and programmes, progress on built environment sustainability fails to address these key issues. Consequently the built environment sector no longer has the luxury of being incrementally less bad, but, with urgency, needs to adopt net-positive, restorative sustainability thinking to incrementally do ‘more good’.

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Within the built environment sustainability agenda a shift is occurring, from a narrow focus on building energy performance, mitigation strategies, and minimisation of environmental impacts to a broader framework that enriches places, people, ecology, culture, and climate at the core of the design task, with particular emphasis on the benefits towards health. 

Sustainability in buildings, as understood today, is an inadequate measure for current and future architectural design, for it aims no higher than trying to make buildings ‘less bad’. Building on current European Standards restorative sustainability approaches will raise aspirations and deliver restorative outcomes. 

Walden Pond, Concord (MA, USA)

Walden Pond, Concord (MA, USA)

The RESTORE Action will affect a paradigm shift towards restorative sustainability for new and existing buildings, promoting forward thinking and multidisciplinary knowledge, leading to solutions that celebrate the richness of design creativity while enhancing users’ experience, health and wellbeing inside and outside buildings, in harmony with urban ecosystems, reconnecting users to nature. 

The COST proposal will advocate, mentor and influence for a restorative built environment sustainability through work groups, training schools (including learning design competitions) and Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs).

General information:

CA COST Action CA16114 REthinking Sustainability TOwards a Regenerative Economy
Start of Action: 09.03.2017  End of Action: 08.03.2021
Proposers: Carlo Battisti w/ Martin Brown, Sue Clark, Emanuele Naboni
Science Officer: Estelle Emeriau
Administrative Officer: Aranzazu Sanchez

For further information: carlo.battisti@eurac.edu

COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is the longest-running European framework supporting trans-national cooperation among researchers, engineers and scholars across Europe. It is a unique means for them to jointly develop their own ideas and new initiatives across all fields in science and technology, including social sciences and humanities, through pan-European networking of nationally funded research activities. Based on a European intergovernmental framework for cooperation in science and technology, COST has been contributing – since its creation in 1971 – to closing the gap between science, policy makers and society throughout Europe and beyond. 

I’m doing WELL.

The WELL Building Standard (WELL) focuses on the people in the building.

Over the last decade, green building standards and standard-setting organizations have made significant strides towards the market transformation of the building industry, resulting in a rapid expansion of green buildings and environmentally conscious building practices throughout the world.

Over the same period, strategies to enhance human health and well-being have played a relatively small role in the evolution of building standards. The time has come to elevate human health and comfort to the forefront of building practices and reinvent buildings that are not only better for the planet, but also for people.

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The WELL Building Standard (WELL)

  • is the first standard of its kind that focuses solely on the health and wellness of building occupants.
  • identifies 100 performance metrics, design strategies, and policies that can be implemented by the owners, designers, engineers, contractors, users and operators of a building.
  • is based on a thorough review of the existing research on the effects of spaces on individuals and has been advanced through a thorough scientific and technical review.
  • requires that the space must undergo a process that includes an on-site assessment and performance testing by a third party.

WELL is the culmination of seven years of rigorous research in collaboration with leading physicians, scientists and industry professionals. Pioneered by Delos, WELL is administered by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and third-party certified through IWBI’s collaboration with Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the certification body that administers the LEED Green Building Rating System.

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Haworth new showroom, Los Angeles (CA)

What are the interactions between humans and the built environment? Traditional healthcare delivery systems primarily focus on addressing health after people have already become sick. With rising costs and the increased burden of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, people are turning to more lifestyle-oriented and preventative approaches to health.

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LEED: the building as a human body

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WELL: the human body within the building

The WELL Building Standard is founded on the understanding that facets of our environment interact with personal, genetic and behavioral factors to shape our overall health and well-being. WELL measures attributes of buildings that impact occupant health by looking at seven factors, or Concepts, relevant to occupant health and well-being: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind:

Air – Clean air is a critical component to our health. Air pollution is the number one environmental cause of premature mortality, contributing to 50,000 premature deaths annually in the United States and approximately 7 million, or one in eight premature deaths Worldwide.

Water – Drinking water contamination is a major public health issue. Many people receive water that has been exposed to potentially harmful levels of biological, chemical and mineral contaminants. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that almost one billion people lack access to safe drinking water worldwide, and two million annual deaths are attributable to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene.

Nourishment – Nutrition plays a key role in health maintenance, weight management and chronic disease prevention. However, adherence to the dietary recommendations in the U.S. is poor. Similarly, global dietary patterns are also less than optimal; in many countries, people consume more than 500 calories from added sugars per day.

Light – In addition to facilitating vision, light influences the human body in non-visual ways. Humans and animals have internal clocks that synchronize physiological functions on roughly a 24-hour cycle called the circadian rhythm.

Fitness – Modern transportation, labor saving conveniences and sedentary jobs have created an environment in which millions of people fail to achieve the minimum level of activity necessary to help prevent type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, heart disease and other chronic conditions.

Comfort – The indoor environment should be a place of comfort. In pursuit of that vision, the WELL Building Standard® focuses on significantly reducing the most common sources of physiological disruption, distraction and irritation and on enhancing acoustic, ergonomic, olfactory and thermal comfort to prevent stress and injury and facilitate comfort, productivity and well-being.

Mind – While mental and physical health are often conceptualized as separate domains, our minds and bodies are inextricably connected. Because the mind plays a vital role in an individual’s overall health and well-being, an atmosphere that supports a healthy mental state can have significant psychological and physical benefits.

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Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh (PA)

If you consider the life of a building over 30 years, personnel costs significantly outweigh any other building and operational cost. By introducing WELL into built spaces, we can significantly reduce personnel costs — health, medical and productivity — in the long run. Clearly long term value can be generated by addressing occupant health in both commercial and residential spaces.

2016_08_18-04 WELL scorecardWELL Certification allows building owners and employers to know their space is performing as intended to support human health and wellness. The WELL Building Standard v1 is optimized for commercial and institutional buildings and can be applied to three project typologies: New and Existing Buildings, New and Existing Interiors, Core and Shell Compliance.

WELL works harmoniously with LEED and the Living Building Challenge. IWBI welcomes projects to pursue both LEED and the Living Building Challenge alongside WELL in order to promote both environmental sustainability and human health. A number of overlapping features exist between WELL and both LEED and the Living Building Challenge, which are described in detail in the appendices of the WELL Building Standard. «Working together to optimize building performance for human health and our environment».

2016_08_18-02 WELL APThe WELL Accredited Professional (WELL AP) credential is an advanced credential intended for experienced building professionals. The WELL AP ensures to the public, building owners and other building professionals that the credential holder has demonstrated advanced knowledge and proficiency in building wellness and the principles, practices and applications of the WELL Building Standard. A couple of weeks ago I earned the WELL Accredited Professional credential :-).

[Sources: WELL Building Standard® v1, September 2015; WELL Brochure; WELL One pager. Copyright© 2015 by Delos Living LLC. The WELL AP™ trademark is used with permission from the International WELL Building Institute™]

On the road …

and not just in the lab.

2015_10_01-05 icctThe gap between official and real-world performance has increased to 40% on average in 2014 and is so wide in many car models that it cannot be explained through known factors including test manipulations.

2015_10_01-01 Mind the gapNot only Volkswagen? And not only NOx; let’s talk about CO2. The system of testing cars to measure fuel economy and CO2 emissions is utterly discredited. The Mind the gap 2015 report published by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) analyses the gap between test results and real-world performance and finds that it has become a chasm, increasing from 8% in 2001 to 31% in 2012 and 40% in 2014. Without action this gap will grow to nearly 50% by 2020.

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New cars, including the Mercedes A, C and E class, BMW 5 series and Peugeot 308, are now swallowing around 50% more fuel than their lab test results, new on-the-road results compiled by reveal. While this does not constitute proof of ‘defeat devices’ being used to fiddle fuel economy tests, similar to that used by Volkswagen, EU governments must extend probes into defeat devices to CO2 tests and petrol cars too. Learn more in this thought-provoking article on Transport & Environment.

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Greg Archer, clean vehicles manager at T&E, said: “Like the air pollution test, the European system of testing cars to measure fuel economy and CO2 emissions is utterly discredited. The Volkswagen scandal was just the tip of the iceberg and what lies beneath is widespread abuse by carmakers of testing rules enabling cars to swallow more than 50% more fuel than is claimed.

The distorted laboratory tests are costing a typical motorist €450 a year in additional fuel costs compared to what carmakers’ marketing materials claim, the report finds. But the car manufacturers are continuing to try to delay the introduction of a new test (WLTP) to be introduced in 2017.

2015_10_01-04 Car testCars are responsible for 15% of Europe’s total CO2 emissions and are the single largest source of emissions in the transport sector. The EU’s first obligatory rules on carbon emissions require car manufacturers to limit their average car to a maximum of 130 grams of CO2 per km by 2015, and 95g by 2021.

Mutatis mutandis

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US Building energy use (Picture: Architecture 2030)

And what if the same situation would actually occurr on our buildings? I mean, above all those already certified under one of the several energy efficiency protocols available in Europe. Are these buildings really performing in compliance to the levels for which they have been designed and built? Moreover, is there someone really monitoring those operational performances? The automotive sector has been always decades forward, compared to the building industry, in terms of quality of the process, level of performances, research and development, investments, accuracy of testing (not in this case …), customers satisfaction, marketing, advertising … whatever. And it has been far ahead in manipulating the results, it seems. What if now the building sector would take its place on the arena as the first industrial sector to show honestly its results and put in place a virtuous process of continuous improvement (energy performances, environmental impact, customer care, …, health)??

ICCT reports:
Mind the gap (2015)
From Laboratory to road (2014)
From Laboratory to road (2013)

Other related posts: Name that sin!

Under Construction.

Il cantiere di innovazione sostenibile.

Avvicinare ricerca e imprese: questo lo scopo di Under Construction, la scuola di innovazione sostenibile (5^ edizione) che facilita il trasferimento tecnologico e l’innovazione. Il metodo d’insegnamento è stato sviluppato da EURAC e TIS.

Il tema centrale del 2015 è “Comfort e qualità dell’aria e dell’ambiente interno“, che si declina sulle caratteristiche delle 3 aziende partecipanti:

  • Hofer Group – soluzioni tecnologiche per il settore saune e piscine, per il miglioramento degli aspetti di igiene, salute, economici ed energetici
  • Vitralux – sviluppo di un nuovo profilo a taglio termico per serramenti in alluminio ad alte prestazioni
  • Naturalia-BAU – soluzioni naturali per l’edilizia a limitate emissioni in ambiente interno di composti organici volatili (VOC) e relativo sistema di verifica/certificazione

2015_09_04-03 Under Construction12 tra professionisti e ricercatori PhD under 35 selezionati da tutta Italia formeranno 3 gruppi, ciascuno coordinato da un imprenditore e da un tutor del TIS o dell’EURAC: dopo due settimane di moduli formativi, i ricercatori svilupperanno insieme alle imprese delle concrete idee di progetto per prodotti o servizi innovativi, immediatamente attuabili nella struttura dell’impresa che partecipa all’iniziativa.

Programma
Calendario della formazione

Costo per l’iscrizione (dopo la selezione): 290 € + IVA. Selezione dei partecipanti sulla base di: CV, motivazione, data di registrazione.
Iscrizioni entro il 16 ottobre 2015 ore 17:00.
Candidatura: qui
Per informazioni contattare:
Carlo Battisti carlo.battisti@tis.bz.it Tel. +39 0471 068118

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Forschung und Unternehmen einander näherbringen: das ist das Ziel von Under Construction, der Schule für nachhaltige Innovation (5. Auflage). Sie wurde gemeinsam vom EURAC und TIS entwickelt und begünstigt den Technologietransfer und Innovation.

Das Thema im Jahr 2015 ist „Komfort und Luft- und Innenraumqualität“. Als Schwerpunkte dienen die Spezialgebiete der drei teilnehmenden Unternehmen:

  • Hofer Group – Technologielösungen für Saunen und Schwimmbäder, um die Aspekte der Hygiene, Gesundheit, Wirtschaft und Energie zu verbessern
  • VitraluxEntwicklung eines neuen Profils mit einer Wärmesperre für Hochleistungs- Alu-Rahmen
  • Naturalia-BAU – Natürliche Lösungen im Bauwesen mit limitierten Emissionen von flüchtigen organischen Verbindungen (VOC) in der Innenraumluft und ihr System der Verifizierung/Zertifizierung

2015_09_04-03 Under ConstructionZwölf ausgewählte Fachleute und Doktoratsstudenten unter 35 Jahren aus ganz Italien werden in drei Gruppen eingeteilt. Jede Gruppe wird von einem Unternehmer und einem Tutor des TIS oder der EURAC koordiniert: nach einer zweiwöchigen Fortbildung mit verschiedenen Unterrichtsmodulen entwickeln die Forscher zusammen mit den Unternehmen konkrete Ideen für Projekte, Produkte oder innovative Dienstleistungen, die unmittelbar auch in den Unternehmen, die am Innovationsbeschleuniger teilnehmen, umgesetzt werden können.

Programm
Ausbildungskalender

Kosten für die Anmeldung (nach der Auswahl): 290 + MwSt. Auswahl der Teilnehmer basierend auf: Lebenslauf, Motivation, Datum der Anmeldung.
Anmeldung bis 16. Oktober 2015 um 17:00 Uhr.
Kandidatur: hier
Weitere Informationen:
Carlo Battisti carlo.battisti@tis.bz.it  Tel. +39 0471 068118

2015_09_04-02 Innovation School