The value of healthy buildings
Healthy buildings have become a focus for governments, enterprises, investors and professionals globally. Joseph Allen, the assistant professor of exposure assessment science, director of the Healthy Buildings Program at the Harvard Center for Health and the Global Environment, emphasizes the harmful effects of considering indoor environmental quality (IEQ) as “ … an afterthought.” With so much time spent in buildings, ensuring the health of buildings we work and live in could greatly impact our quality of life.
Many factors account for what makes a building healthy. Humidity levels, air ventilation, temperature, lighting, the presence of chemical-emitting materials, and plumbing all affect the health of the occupants of any building. Yet since the 1970s, buildings have been constructed to be airtight and more energy efficient. However, some of these changes have unintentionally led to negative impacts, such as decreased ventilation. Although these methods of building construction sometimes lower the cost of maintenance, it is important to consider their effects on health by assessing the impact of IEQ on building occupants. And although many new buildings are energy efficient while considering IEQ, a lack of ongoing performance metrics allows IEQ to drift out of focus.
Benefits of healthy buildings for owners, managers, occupants and employees
According to a report released by the Global Wellness Institute in 2018, 47% of consumers are willing to spend more money to get better indoor air quality, pointing to an accumulation of value in owning/living/working in healthy building conditions. In addition to promoting air quality management, healthy buildings help prevent negative health impacts, provide access to good quality drinking water and create more comfortable lighting and acoustics. These improvements increase productivity and have additional lasting positive outcomes for building occupants, meaning that owners and managers also benefit, since a safe environment attracts and retains employees and tenants.
Access the video below for a more in-depth discussion of how healthy buildings are bringing additional value to real estate enterprises.
In this webinar, we will help you understand the following:
- What are healthy buildings?
- How can healthy buildings help drive your business?
- Who can apply for healthy building certification?
- Why should you try to achieve healthy buildings?