There’s no question buildings affect our health, and WELL ratings help to ensure they improve occupants’ well-being and boost productivity.
Around Australia, the solution many office workers use to combat ‘tiredness’ in the middle of the afternoon revolves around a latte from their favourite coffee shop.
Less common are thoughts about better access to daylight, better ventilation and better thermal comfort. More broadly, whilst considerable effort has gone into improving the performance of buildings from a sustainability perspective, less attention has been given to building design from a standpoint of human health.
Yet the importance of buildings in health outcomes cannot be underestimated. In cardiovascular health, for example, the elimination of environmental pollutants such as tobacco and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) helps to avoid damage to the heart and vessels. In the immune system, use of non-toxic chemicals limits the exposure to chemicals which weaken immune function whilst water and air-filtration systems limit exposure to bacterial and viral pathogens and allergies.