Sustainability from an ergonomic perspective

Aerial view of a city with tall buildings. It is a black and white photo with bright green overlay on some of the buildingsThe focus of sustainability has been on energy efficiency and all things “green”. But sustainability should have a broader context argues Erminia Attaianese. She claims that this narrow focus is paradoxical as maximising the building’s efficiency is not always maximising the comfort and efficiency of the building’s occupants. Taking a human ergonomic approach to design, the author argues for a better outcome for both the building and its users. Note, the paper looks as if it has been through a poor translation and is not easy to read. But the conclusions at the end are clear enough. The title of the paper is, Ergonomics of Built Environment i.e. How Environmental Design Can Improve Human Performance and Well-Being in a Framework of Sustainability

Abstract: Ambient conditions in buildings are called to assure a delicate balance between environmental pressure and a so variable human response, the first expressed by the level and the combination of different environmental stimuli from physical factors, the second elicited by a wide range of individual capacities activated by people to cope and to elaborate those stimuli. Ergonomic /Human Factors approach is crucial in design of a physical space intended as an environmental support for users performance and comfort, since it provides theoretical principles, data and methods for understanding the interactions among humans and other elements of whatever system, and for identifying how conditions are able to make that system really fitting its users’ needs and expectancies. Starting from an overview about effects on occupants of buildings physical factors, the paper summarizes principles of ergonomic design of built environment, for tending to sustainable and really supportive living environments for people.