People are healthier, happier, and more productive if they have access to fresh air and daylight. The Living Building Challenge recognizes this, and among the imperatives it sets for creating a sustainable building is #8: Civilized Environment. One of the ways our new Amazing Space building meets this imperative is by featuring windows that are operable, allowing guests and staff to open the windows and enjoy the fresh air and sounds of nature.
In addition to being operable, the windows must also contribute to the energy efficiency and overall sustainability of the building. To maintain a continuous air and moisture barrier between the inside of the building and the outside, the windows frames are sealed with an expandable foam, creating a water-tight barrier. The windows have great ratings both for letting minimal warm air out in the winter, and for allowing minimal solar heat into the building in the summer.
It’s not only the windows themselves that are important: it’s the view that lies beyond. The 10th Imperative of the Living Building Challenge is biophilia, which focuses on designing a building that “includes elements that nurture the innate human attraction to natural systems and processes.” In other words, biophilia means bringing elements of the natural world into built environments. The viewscapes provided by Amazing Space take advantage of the existing natural woodlands to the north and prairies to the south, creating a beautiful, pleasing environment for users of the building. You can look forward to checking out these views yourself when we open Amazing Space to the public in September.