Precast Systems Help Deliver Healthy Buildings
Focus on Health
There is a new focus on occupant health in the office building marketplace. Beginning with USGBC LEED Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) credit section and furthered by Cascadia GBC’s Living Building Challenge and associated “red list”, there has been a growing movement within the design community to focus more clearly on occupant health, well-being, and productivity. This movement has culminated recently in the launch of the International Well Building Institute and its Well Building Standard.
The ultimate aim of this new approach to health-oriented design is to do good and do well: create healthy human scale environments that prioritize occupant health and well-being while also maximizing owner and tenant return on investment.
There are many strategies to achieve a healthy building. These include prioritizing indoor air quality & ventilation, thermal comfort, lighting & daylighting, interior layout and active design. Research and experience point to a few key strategies for success that designers are choosing more frequently for their projects: Under floor air distribution (UFAD) for instance is more effective and efficient than overhead air distribution (OHAD) in providing fresh air for occupants. Similarly, radiant heating and cooling from above is a more effective strategy for attaining thermal comfort than forced heated or cooled air, and thermal mass provided by exposed concrete for instance provides better feel than dropped ceilings and painted drywall.
Designers are challenged as they reconsider “business as usual” in their design strategies for new construction, how to cost-effectively achieve the levels of human comfort that result in net positives for occupants and owners. These new technologies, including raised access floors for UFAD and radiant heating and cooling systems offer great solutions, but they also create new complexities and challenges, such as the increased ceiling to floor system depths.
An Integrated Solution
To make the design task easier and increase overall system efficiency, Clark Pacific has introduced a prefabricated structural slab which integrates underfloor air and services distribution, thermally active surfaces (radiant systems), thermal mass, and flexible, easily modifiable programming space – all in a single building system unit.
The Clark Access Deck™ is a manufactured integrated building system that allows for a flexible floor space that can be modified to
fit ever-changing client needs and healthier air circulation for building occupants. Unlike conventional underfloor air distribution systems for office spaces, this integrated access deck eliminates redundancy, speeds project delivery, and enables office space to be modified quickly due to the built-in pre-engineered infrastructure.
Besides its proven occupant health and comfort features, this integrated solution provides additional important benefits for new construction owners and occupants including construction schedule and cost certainty, superior acoustics and vibration control, long-term quality, modifiable configurations, program flexibility and lower life-cycle costs.
The Clark Access Deck was created so that owners and designers could more easily choose to integrate healthy building strategies in their design, without trading design flexibility or system depth for occupant health, well-being and productivity.