Symposium keynote: ‘Give more control to occupants’

Emotional buy-in from clients is essential for engineers to delivery healthy buildings

CIBSE Journal April 2018 Inclusivity panel

Engineers won’t be able to deliver healthy buildings unless they get ‘emotional buy-in’ from the client, according to symposium keynote speaker Stuart Shell.

BranchPattern senior associate Shell said buildings that offered physiological and psychological benefits were perceived by clients as being more of a risk, so designers have to explain the benefits in more human terms.

End users should be given control of their buildings with features such as openable windows, he added: ‘The occupants should be the locus of control, not building automation systems.’

Designers often ‘got lost in the weeds’ because of the pressures imposed by contracts around schedules and costs, said Shell, who believes standards are being interpreted in a way that prevents buildings from being designed for end users. ‘We’ve focused on meeting standards that create a defence for designs,’ he said.