“From energy efficiency towards wellbeing – introducing...” by Astrid Achatz
Head of Central Office
Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance
Lecture from the 7th VELUX Daylight Symposium “Healthy & climate-friendly architecture– from knowledge to practice” that took place in Berlin on 3-4 May 2017. For more information visit http://thedaylightsite.com
The Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance was founded in 2008 to offer the construction industry a central contact point for research and development within Fraunhofer. Here 14 Fraunhofer institutes have joined together to develop new and innovative topics as answers to the current challenges of building industry. Furthermore, the alliance is intended to function as an interface between business, research and politics and thereby shaping future construction. One of its eight business fields is “comfort and health”, which also a central concern concern of the political initiative “Gutes Wohnen”, an interdisciplinary platform of leading construction companies, renowned research institutes and experts from building science and health.
As a partner, Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance supports the goal of “Gutes Wohnen” to raise awareness in politics and public of what good living is and what impact it has on human well-being, health, productivity and performance. People in industrialized nations spend up to 90 percent of their lives indoors. While for our ancestors buildings were meant as shelters against a hostile environment, we nowadays have to try to restore the access to important environmental factors, such as daylight or fresh air, which are fundamentally necessary for our wellbeing and health. In current projects, Fraunhofer scientists examine relevant building factors to develop optimal comfort with minimum consumption of energy and resources. The human being perceives approximately 80-90 percent of information visually.
Because of that, lighting has a big impact on the performance of students or office workers. Great significance is therefore assigned to the configuration and planning of the visual environment that suits this requirement. In the presentation some examples of research on lighting optimization will be given. Carefully planned complex fenestration systems allow using interior spaces without supplying heating energy or artificial light for about 80 percent of the time, thus significantly reducing the energy need for heating and lighting as well as the use of light sources.
The Fraunhofer scientists focus on developing assessment methods and technologies to gain planning security regarding the light technology of façades. At the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, measuring facilities, such as an artificial sky for the daylighting evaluation of building models or light laboratories for experimental studies on the physiological and psychological effects of light enable profound light research.
Astrid Achatz is Head of Central Office Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance. During and after her studies of biology at the University of Vienna (diploma in 1997) Astrid Achatz coordinated different interdisciplinary research projects at BOKU (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna) and the Environment Agency Austria. After her move to Germany, Astrid pursued her second major interest in her further education as a Diplom Mentaltrainer and worked as freelance coach and trainer in Passau and Munich. In 2010 she returned to science as Assistant to the Management of the Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance. After a year at Fraunhofer Headquarters from August 2015 until September 2016 as Manager Business Model Development, she became the Head of Central Office of Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance.