We are WELL Series Session #4: Light & Comfort | U.S. Green Building Council
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We are WELL Series Session #4: Light & Comfort

Register for event
Starts On - September 16, 2016 - 8:30am
Ends On - September 16, 2016 - 10:30am
455 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest #770
Washington , DC 20001

Lighting codes and engineering societies provide guidelines, illuminance recommendations, and requirements for a variety of spatial types. But well-designed lighting, and access to it, is about more than just foot-candles and watts, and affects more than just operational overhead.

How light affects our health

Access to natural and artificial light that reinforces our circadian rhythms is responsible for synchronizing our body's organs, hormonal secretions, and multiple physiological processes. Disorders of these rhythms and chronic sleep deprivation are associated with increased risk of certain morbidities, such as diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, hypertension and stroke.

Given that we spend 90 percent of our lives indoors, design which provides access to light and contributes to circadian photoentrainment in our interior environment is of critical importance in maintaining the health of the population.

Why comfort is important in interior environments

Interior environments should also be places of comfort and support. Acoustic problems are a leading source of dissatisfaction in offices and schools—and audial comfort can lead to increased social interaction, ability to concentrate, and productivity. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), including low back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis and others are extremely common.

Low back pain alone affects about 31 million Americans, and 380,600 days of work were missed in 2013 because of musculoskeletal disorders, accounting for one third of the total number of days away from work. Thermal comfort is another leading cause of distraction and discomfort in interior environments—in 2006, only 11 percent of the office buildings surveyed in the US met accepted goals of occupant satisfaction.

Our panel, which includes experts in human factors and ergonomic design, salutogenic design, acoustics, and lighting design, will address these issues head on and give you a new understanding of how to enhance occupant comfort. Join us to learn how you can reduce common sources of physiological distraction, disruption, and discomfort as well as facilitate increased comfort, productivity, and well-being.


  • Carolyn Rickard-Brideau, LITTLE
  • David Conrath, Anthrospheres
  • Matthew Colenzo, Herman Miller
  • Robby Deem, Cerami Associates


Special thanks to our Series Sponsors, BOMA International, Healthy Buildings, and Markon Solutions, and to our Event Sponsor and host Lutron.



About the We are WELL Educational Series

Co-hosted by USGBC National Capital Region and the International WELL Building Institute, this series of four educational sessions explores the connection between the built environment and occupant well-being.

Using the WELL Building Standard as a framework, each session focuses on both "why" and "how" we can design, build, and operate in ways that promote human health. Sessions feature diverse panels of experts, bringing to the table professionals from the fields of health and medicine, design, facilities management, human resources, and other spheres that have a direct impact on occupant well-being.

All sessions also include refreshments and designated networking time.