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Research on “Space Kind to People” Which Creates Environments Where People Can Work Energetically in Good Health

Verification tests in an environment including actual workers to begin in May based on results of the research

July 9, 2010Takenaka Corporation

Takenaka Corporation (President: Toichi Takenaka) abandoned its past “space creation” perspective in 2007 by starting research to create “Space Kind to People”: space where people can work more energetically and be more productive and creative than ever before. In cooperation with both Japanese and overseas researchers in the fields of medicine, brain science, psychology, bioengineering, etc., Takenaka Corporation is conducting research to obtain scientific evidence concerning the way that buildings and other external environments impact people’s five senses and how people respond to these environments.
In the “TAK E-HVAC Shinsuna Headquarters Building” completed in April 2010, proving tests have been conducted since May under the conditions actually including people working there. These tests will scientifically verify the impact of the light environment and the thermal environment on biological rhythms, which is part of the results obtained from research on “Space Kind to People.” Also, proving tests using test subjects will verify the impact on physiology, psychology and intellectual productivity, etc. in an actual office.

【“Space Kind to People” research】

Overview of “Space Kind to People”

Numerous current buildings are created so that most people will feel comfortable and few people will feel uncomfortable in them. As a result they will be homogeneous and unchanging. But people are diverse in many ways and their conditions and actions vary constantly. “Space Kind to People” will enable people to act more energetically and enjoy better health because they are richly stimulated by buildings and other aspects of their external environments. Using lighting for example to create “Space Kind to People” can have the following effects

  • By varying indoor lighting to match the original biological rhythm of humans (24 hour rhythm = circadian rhythm), the space is not a conventional homogeneous unchanging space and it is possible to adjust their daily life rhythm: staying awake during the daytime and sleeping at night.
  • It is possible to help people work more efficiently by creating environments pleasant for each person by letting them vary the lighting at their own desks.

To create “Space Kind to People,” we intend to study how buildings impact people and how people react to buildings in order to establish building space design technology (Neuro-architecture) based on scientific evidence.

Results of “Space Kind to People” research

1.Impact of the light environment on the circadian rhythm

  • Overview of the research
  • We verified how the thermal environment impacts the circadian rhythm by comparing a case (Case 1) where the temperature is constant as it is in past offices with a case (Case 2) where the room temperature was increased by three degrees considering the circadian rhythm. During this test of actual subjects, we evaluated change of the core body temperature etc. of the subjects. The core body temperature of people also rises and falls throughout the circadian rhythm (24 hour cycle) and the amplitude of its fluctuation is greater if the person is in good health.

  • Results obtained
  • The test of actual subjects has suggested the possibility that in the case (Case 2) where test subjects can increase their own illumination when they wish to, they are awake throughout the day (the parasympathetic nervous system is suppressed) and that when they are asleep, they can relax (the parasympathetic nervous system is active).

2.Impact of the thermal environment on the circadian rhythm

  • Overview of the research
  • We verified how the thermal environment impacts the circadian rhythm by comparing a case (Case 1) where the temperature is constant as it is in past offices with a case (Case 2) where the room temperature was increased by three degrees considering the circadian rhythm. During this test of actual subjects, we evaluated change of the core body temperature etc. of the subjects. The core body temperature of people also rises and falls throughout the circadian rhythm (24 hour cycle) and the amplitude of its fluctuation is greater if the person is in good health.

  • Results obtained
  • The test of actual subjects has suggested the possibility that in case (Case 2), increasing the room temperature by three degrees considering the circadian rhythm boosts the subjects’ core body temperature during the daytime, and impacts the amplitude of the circadian rhythm of the core body temperature.

【The Proving Test in the TAK E-HVAC Shinsuna Headquarters Building】

The results of the above two research studies undertaken based on the results of research on “Space Kind to People” have been verified for actual workers and have also been scientifically verified through the proving tests using test subjects. These proving tests have clarified the impacts on physiology, psychology, and intellectual productivity when applied in actual offices.

1.

Light environment control technology considering the circadian rhythm

The results of research on the “impact of the light environment on biological rhythms” are reflected in the ambient lighting (lighting which brightens an entire room) and task lighting (lighting which brightens only locations it is needed) illumination/color temperature control logic of lighting control systems. The concept of work environments considering circadian rhythms, which has recently attracted attention, are advancing at the same time as systems which permit each person to select comfortable lighting within a certain range are being introduced.

2.

Thermal environment control technology considering the circadian rhythm

The results of the research on the “impact of the thermal environment on biological rhythms” are reflected in the ambient air-conditioning control logic of air-conditioning systems.

Verification method

(A)

Verification of actual workers

The results of the research on the “impact of the thermal environment on biological rhythms” are reflected in the ambient air-conditioning control logic of air-conditioning systems.

(B)

Experiments using test subjects

Experiments using test subjects are performed on holidays. While cardiograms and other physiological data are measured, the impact of the room environment on intellectual productivity is verified.