At SH Architecture, we have fun writing about sustainable architecture or public works architecture projects for your enjoyment. And while we can seem tongue-in-cheek with our little, modest moments of self-aggrandizement — although it is justified as we are the top architecture firms and sustainable architecture firms in Las Vegas — we can get deeply serious on architecture features.
For example, it is well known a quality interior environment supports human health and well-being. However, what is not known is that the quality of our indoor environments can be influenced simply by the color on the wall.
The sustainable architect and our SH architecture principal John Anderson explains.
Impacts Made by Simple Paint Choices
One simple but significant impact to creating an environment that improves occupant comfort, minimizes stress, improves air quality and even kills bacterial is the proper paint selection and use of paint colors. Color usage can provide a physiological and psychological benefit and proper selection and specifications for paints can achieve higher indoor air quality, cleanliness, and durability.
For example, and this may be strange, but consider the paint on hospital walls. Let’s take the Boulder City Hospital. Healthcare facilities house people at their weakest moments and attempt to improve their overall health. Not only that, hospitals are aware the road to recovery includes reducing the patient’s mental stress. Considering this, hospitals and Las Vegas architects want to utilize colors and visual cues to create an environment that promotes healing, relaxation, and comfort.
Recovery room should contain cool, neutral colors to promote a relaxed feel. Accent walls can be used to add charm and visually interest. However, these accents should not be used where it is in the patient’s direct line of sight. This will distort the room’s attempts of relaxation and affect the recovering patient’s mental state.
However, other spaces such as dining rooms and physical therapy rooms, which are intended for activity, may be painted with the same cool neutral color, but include bright, colorful accents to elicit feelings of stimulation and positivity.
Research on Colors and The WELL Building Standard
The research on color influence is a growing trend in the architectural realm. Partnerships between doctors, scientists, architects, and industry professionals have conducted extensive research on this topic.
In their research, new trends and standards are being developed such as the WELL Building Standard. The IWBI provides prescriptive standards, performance standards, and third-party certifications focused on occupant health and wellness for built environments. These standards enhance and work in tandem with buildings standards such as LEED, Living Building Challenge, and the Green Building Initiative.
IWBI Concepts for You:
Although the perception of colors is subjective, there are some basic rules of thumb that can be applied to choosing paint colors.
- Blue – Calming and can lower pulse rate and body temperature.
- Green – Calming with a freshness effect.
- Red – Energy and excitement and can raise pulse rate and body temperature.
- Yellow and Orange – Colors of the sun promotes happiness and can release serotonin, which creates positive psychological vibes.
- Purple – Can stimulate brain activity.
- Black – Elegance, formality, and sophistication but can be depressing if overused.
- White – Creates spaciousness.
But What about the Cost?
Although high-quality paint costs more than your basic paints, 15% of the cost for painting is material, and 85% is labor. The labor cost is relatively the same for a higher performing paint as it is for basic paints. Even if you double the cost of your paint material, it’s a 7% increase in total painting cost. In addition, you may be extending the period of time between repainting from 5 years to 10 years. Thus, your per year cost for painting actually decreases with the use of high-quality paints.
Color Crazy Now?
If you’ve been influenced to add more color to your next architecture project, contact our Salt Lake City or Las Vegas architecture firm today. Whether it is a commercial or residential, our architects will get your project finished on time and on budget.