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Campus author - The colour, light and contrast manual

book cover

Dr Geoff Cook, Reader in Inclusive Environmental Engineering


ISBN - 978-1-4051-9504-1

The ability to identify coloured surfaces, features and elements within the built environment is important if they are to be accessible and inclusive. For the two million people who have vision problems, it is essential.

The content of this book is drawn from the extensive work of the Inclusive Environments Research Group in SCME and provides the standard text on the provision of inclusive environments. 

The user-needs focus of the book is on people who are visually impaired, as the research has shown that where colour and lighting meets their needs it will also meet those of all other building users. The book brings together an extensive range of research-based guidance for those designing and operating buildings. Detailed descriptions of the nature and measurement of colour introduce the recently agreed national Standard for contrast measurement, BS8493: 2008, developed by the same author.

The Light Reflectance Value concept, as defined in the Standard, was also developed by the author and is establishing an international acceptance. In a similar way the visual system and the changes caused by a range of eye pathologies are described. This leads to an extensive range of contrast and lighting design recommendations for use inside and outside buildings.

There is a clear emphasis that the choice of colour and lighting should not be taken independently as they act together to produce an accessible environment. A selection of case studies, including the Carrington Building at the University of Reading, show examples of good practice.

The book is endorsed by the Society of Light and Lighting, the senior UK lighting profession, and was co-authored by Emeritus Professor Keith Bright.

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