flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
catfish1 - bottom
Currently Reading

Wellness and glass: Designing better spaces to promote better living

Sponsored Content

Wellness and glass: Designing better spaces to promote better living

Elizabeth Cotton | May 7, 2019

Architectural glass allows the flow of natural light into buildings, and this is proven to contribute to occupants’ well-being. According to a report the World Green Building Council, Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices: The Next Chapter for Green Building, it has been determined that people are more productive when they have greater access to windows, particularly when their views look directly out into nature.

Glass with a high visible light transmission is key to creating a naturally well-lit home and work environment. AGC Glass North America’s ENERGY Select® is a high-performance, Low-E coated glass that allows architects, designers, specifiers, and window fabricators to customize the amount of solar heat that enters the building, the amount of heat that is retained, and the amount of light that passes through. Depending on climate, performance requirements, and positioning of the structure, architects can dial in the right kind of glass for their needs, maximizing views to the outdoors while maintaining optimal aesthetics and saving energy.



In another study, “Impact of Windows and Daylight Exposure on Overall Health and Sleep Quality of Office Workers: A Case-Control Pilot Study,” published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, two groups were monitored. The first worked in windowless spaces, or spaces where workstations were far away from windows, and subsequently these individuals lacked exposure to daylight. The other group worked in spaces with absolutely no access to natural light of any kind. Results illustrated that those without access to natural light sources during the day did not perform their duties to the highest capacity. They also experienced physical problems, diminished vitality, and poor or interrupted sleep.

Using glass to bring sunlight deeper into a structure allows more people to enjoy the benefits of consistent exposure to natural light. This can be achieved using a product like Clearvision™. This glass product is an extremely transparent, low-iron glass with a high visible light transmission – 92% at 3mm thickness – which can be used for internal partitions, office dividers, or cubicles. Glass this clear allows the light coming in from outside to filter further inside, while serving as attractive, modern, interior structural elements.



The relatively new WELL Building Standard, a global rating system intended to transform buildings and communities, aims to make architects, designers, and building owners more aware of how a space can affect occupants and the environment, ultimately enhancing their experience of a space. One aspect of the certification program provides illumination guidelines to maximize worker productivity, improve sleep quality, and to minimize disruption to circadian rhythms. A human’s daily experience of light affects their circadian rhythm, which is defined as the “physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle” according to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. It is important that individuals have a somewhat consistent sleep and wake schedule, and this is connected to their light schedule – the daily cycle of light and dark experienced across a 24-hour period. To optimally function, it is important to maintain a consistent experience of both natural daylight and natural darkness. Fluorescent lighting does not replace natural daylight, meaning that those who work indoors all day should be exposed to as much exterior light as possible to maintain a healthy wake/sleep cycle. This can be achieved by increasing the number of windows and glass products used within a structure and ensuring that those who work inside have access to natural light and outside views.



Significantly, the office setting is not the only place were daylight can help with human health: Natural light also benefits hospital patients. The paper by The Center for Health Design, titled Impact of Light on Outcomes in Healthcare Settings, demonstrated that improved patient access to daylight helped reduce patient depression, decreased the length of time patients spent in hospitals, improved sleep amongst patients, enabled dementia patients to feel less agitated, and helped night shift work staff better adjust to their schedules. This is attributed to the better regulation of the patient’s circadian rhythm. “Irregular rhythms have been linked to various chronic health conditions, such as sleep disorders, obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder,” the National Institute of General Medical Sciences reports.

Glass is the ideal material to ensure that individuals living, working, or recuperating inside can gain access to the outside and experience the optimal amount of daylight. With an increased focus on health in today’s society, and new standards in place to emphasize its importance, glass can help architects create beautiful, functional structures that promote human well-being.

More from Author

Elizabeth Cotton | Dec 19, 2019

Customizing Glass to Fit Any Project

Architects and designers have specific needs when it comes to products. Offering on-demand, custom services allows AGC Glass to better serve their customers. 

Elizabeth Cotton | Dec 2, 2019

New glass residence emerges along Lake Ontario

The architects specifically selected high-performance glass across the façade to ensure that it is energy-efficient while maximizing natural light and views.

Elizabeth Cotton | Aug 21, 2019

Anti-corrosion glass: A clear solution for humid spaces

Contaminants related to water, heat and high humidity can cause glass corrosion

Elizabeth Cotton | Jun 7, 2019

Shaping interior spaces with color and materials

Great interior design strategically incorporates color and materials to generate a specific mood or impression about a space.

Elizabeth Cotton | Jan 3, 2019

L’Avenue Apartments, Montreal, Quebec

A new Montreal icon features glass in contrasting shades for optimal aesthetic appeal.

Elizabeth Cotton | Dec 20, 2018

The beauty and benefits of tinted glass

Tinted glass helps to regulate a building’s temperature as it is designed to absorb energy from the visible light spectrum.

Elizabeth Cotton | Dec 13, 2018

Glass sells: The importance of glass in retail

Store frontage is integral to showcasing what’s inside and, more importantly, who is inside.

Elizabeth Cotton | Aug 28, 2018

Energy efficient glass: Products for every climate

It is crucial to consider how glass, as beautiful as it may be, will improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

Elizabeth Cotton | Jun 28, 2018

Adding value and longevity with anti-corrosion glass

A product like LUXCLEAR® Protect, an anti-corrosion glass from AGC Glass North America, can help glass-enclosed spaces like the shower, bathroom, a hot tub enclosure, or sunroom retain its attractive shine.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -
halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021