Since the World Health Organization’s Declaration on Occupational Health for All in 1994, the health of occupants has become a very important issue among health professions as well as architectures (Aries, Aarts, & van Hoof, 2015). Daylighting is becoming a salient point in design consideration. There are many studies which are about the relationship between daylighting, psychological well-being, and workers’ productivity. A few studies address the impact of daylight at work place on sleep, quality of life and overall health. The exposure of light and dark forms the circadian clock / cycle and body temperature (Das, 2015).
The phenomenon of winter depression in cold countries also named as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) may make people who suffered from insufficient solar exposure more vulnerable (Das, 2015). People who does not go out of their offices and buildings very often might be counted as them. People demonstrate escalated symptoms of depression, alcoholism, illness, obesity, insomnia, suicide tendencies etc. which settle after the spring comes or exposure to bright illumination with a lamp (Aries, Aarts, & van Hoof, 2015). Results of several studies suggest that both natural and artificial bright light may improve health outcomes like depression, SAD and circadian rest-activity (Aries, Aarts, & van Hoof, 2015).
The human body is able to synthesis vitamin D in the presence of sunlight which can cure Rickets and Osteoporosis (Das, 2015). Bright bluish light increases cortisol which is the stress hormone and darkness increases melatonin which is the sleep hormone secretion. This is also the reason why people are more energic in the mornings and sleepier at late hours (Das, 2015). If people have too little daylight exposed, it will mess up their hormones and will cause to change the circadian rhythm.
Knowing that office hours occur during biologically natural daylight hours, it is assumable that in office environment light exposure affects sleep, and via sleep and other influences it will affect physical and mental health (Aries, Aarts, & van Hoof, 2015). If windowless environments or lack of daylight affect office occupants’ sleep quality, there might be an upcoming effect. The effect will cause not only individual problems, but also societal problems which can lead to more accidents, workplace errors, and decreased productivity.
Healthy light in building design aims for good visual performance and visual comfort. Stimulating white light gives energy to the body after the afternoon siesta and freshens people up for their trip back home (Das, 2015). Warm white light saves electricity and is good for biological relaxation as well as a power nap at lunch time, so the body can repower itself (Das, 2015). The position of the light source may reduce tiredness and improve sleep quality if the light creates high level of vertical illuminance.
As addition, according to the society of light and lighting in the Netherlands, working in a building with highly reflective windows where curtains are used can lower the exhaustion and eyestrain (Boubekri, Cheung, Reid, Wang, & Zee, 2014). In other words, too much of daylight could also affect negatively, so this must be taken into consideration while designing buildings.
To conclude, lower amounts of daylight exposure and lighting in the workplace may negatively affect the health and well-being of building occupants. Too little light exposure in workplaces may have long-lasting effects on physical and mental health not only during but also beyond office hours. To improve building occupants’ sleep quality and physical well-being, enhanced indoor lighting for current offices which are insufficient lightened is recommended. Occupants who has limited access to windows have to find another way to light exposure. For instants, either taking a walk during lunch time or break or just for enjoying the weather and the sun. Designing the building with floor plans should stimulate people to go out either via balconies or from the ground floor. Especially in the periods of sunrise and sunset during work time, the daylight opening like window should be uncovered, so people can see the change in photoperiod. However, the curtains should be automatic or movable to meet personal comfort (Boubekri, Cheung, Reid, Wang, & Zee, 2014).
For essential lighting, glare level should be balanced and for the benefits of distant view and aesthetic architectural futures can be used. Costumery eye level should also be in consideration during building wall openings (Aries, Aarts, & van Hoof, 2015). After the newest restoration of BRI, office lighting looks better than before. Variations has been taking place for making the hospital not look factory-like. The facilities that the hospital offer should be designed for the mental relief and relaxation for staff and patience. Colored light is only in the reception part to be seen.