CoeLux to take part in the World’s first biophilic design research project

The Building Research Establishment (BRE) have launched The Biophilic Office project- a ground-breaking office refurbishment project that will provide quantified evidence on the benefits of biophilic design on health, well-being and productivity of office occupants.

The project centres on a 650m2 1980s office building on the BRE campus in Watford, which will be refurbished according to biophilic design principles.

BRE are partnering with architect and interior designer Oliver Heath, who will lead on the design element of the refurbished building.

A host of founding core partners are involved to bring their industry expertise into the project including CoeLux.

CoeLux is a ground breaking optical system based on nano technology to artificially reproduce the natural light and visual appearance of the sun and sky in spaces that are deprived of natural light, creating the sensation of infinite space. The unique CoeLux lighting systems reproduce the true effect of natural sunlight entering through the opening in the integrated ceiling, with a realistic sun perceived at infinite distance surrounded by clear deep blue sky. Objects shine in the exceptional light casting sharp sky-blue shadows.

The result is achieved thanks to the comprehensive work carried on by an interdisciplinary team of researchers in the field of optical physics, numerical modelling, chemistry, material science, architecture and design.

Prof. Paolo Di Trapani, the company founder and CEO says “CoeLux lighting systems reproduce a virtual experience of the sun and sky; especially in a below-ground environment, the effect is so powerful that it may radically change our perception of reality. It allows us to rediscover natural light in the real world in a totally new and surprising way”.

Other partners in the Biophilic Office project are:

Interface – global manufacturer of modular flooring

Biotecture – designer & supplier of living wall systems

Akzo Nobel – global paints and coatings company

Plessey – innovative lighting and ECG sensing technologies

Royal Ahrend – professional work environments, furniture products and services

Ecophon – acoustic products and systems for working environments

GVA – real estate & project management solutions

Each of the partners will be using the office and its test facilities in the project to evaluate their products’ role in promoting the health and wellbeing of office occupants and for wider biophilic design.

Each of the partners will be using the office and its test facilities in the project to evaluate their products’ role in promoting the health and wellbeing of office occupants and for wider biophilic design.

The project will show how quantified improvements in productivity and wellness can bring rewards for landlords, occupiers, developers and all those concerned with the office and wider built environment” says Ed Suttie, Research Director at BRE. “Researchers will carry out a baseline year of pre-refurbishment and a year of post-refurbishment monitoring, evaluating the office environment for daylight, lighting, indoor air quality, acoustic, thermal and humidity comfort. Office occupants will undergo confidential health evaluations, and sign up to a series of online questionnaires and surveys. They will use wearable technology to monitor key health metrics.”

This comprehensive and long-term study is unique in terms of scale and data capture. It will provide a firm foundation for guidance and adoption of measures in the facilities management and refurbishment sectors to promote health and wellbeing in offices.

A design strategy will be developed including tiers of interventions in zones within the office. The products used will also undergo laboratory evaluation to establish whether a health and wellbeing potential can be quantified at product level.

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