In December 2015, ZGF architect Marty Brennan and The University of Washington’s Dr. Mehlika Inanici traveled to Hyderabad, India to present their paper, co-authored with ZGF designer Ed Clark, at the 2015 International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA) Conference. The paper “Spectral Lighting Simulations: Computing Circadian Light” discusses the principles of defining and analyzing circadian light and how good design can support building inhabitants’ healthy circadian rhythms. Healthy circadian function can actively improve well-being, overall health, rates of healing and workplace productivity. Their paper’s abstract offers further detail:
“Recent studies have demonstrated that the spectral content of light at typical interior daylight levels affects human circadian rhythms. Lighting simulation tools are developed, used, and validated mainly for computing the visual aspects of lighting. This paper demonstrates utilization of a multi-spectral simulation method that can be employed to design and analyze circadian lighting in built environments. The methodology is context-based, allowing the researchers and designers to consider local skies, exterior context, glazing optics, surface materials, interior design, and viewer location.”
The paper, now available online, also presents the benefits of Lark Spectral Lighting, an open source software plug-in collaboratively authored by ZGF and the University of Washington. Lark is a tool that helps architects and designers create spaces that actively support circadian rhythms by computing circadian light as part of the design process. For a quick overview on Lark and circadian lighting check out this video.