“I can’t see, hear or breathe and the paint is poisonous, but the ergonomics in here is great.”
The Green Building Council of Australia has introduced an ‘ergonomics’ credit as part of a pilot tool for building interiors. Ergonomics means the relationship of people with everything with which they interact; everything that affects people including materials, physical places, equipment, machines, etc. The evaluation of all these things in a building interior would sum to an evaluation of the ergonomics of the environment. However the Green Building Council seem to see – I think unfortunately – ergonomics as something quite separate from all these components.
The ‘indoor environment quality’ rating tool requires the assessor to make judgments about air quality (4 points); thermal comfort (2); lighting (5); visual comfort (2); acoustics (3); hazardous materials (1), pollutants from materials (7); and amenity quality (1).
All of these are valid and genuinely useful aspects of ergonomics in a building evaluation. Even though these are clearly aspects of ergonomics, after the evaluation of these ergonomics issues, oddly there is a further independent category called ‘ergonomics strategy’ worth one point. This makes no sense. Ergonomics can’t be different to all these matters. I can not imagine how a building can be too dark, too noisy, have no toilet, and be full of hazardous materials and yet gain a point for ‘ergonomics’.