UK Green Building Council Healthy Homes Report Share this article

Your home, both the location and the physical building itself, influences almost every aspect of your life. From how well you sleep and how productive you are, to how safe and secure you feel. To improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities, the design and quality of homes and neighbourhoods is a key contributor with almost 30% of buyers and renters paying more for properties with those qualities.

This statistic forms part of the Health and Wellbeing in Homes report produced by the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC). The report aims to increase the focus of the property industry and how this could positively improve the mental, social and physical health and wellbeing of home occupiers, by providing recommendations and evidence for the industry.

Cundall contributed to the report and the metrics work stream, looking at what metrics were available for measuring health and wellbeing and which ones were appropriate for inclusion. Alan Fogarty, Sustainability Partner also contributed by reviewing the output and in particular looking at future resilience of housing.

The report is aimed at all those with a role in developing, designing, delivering or managing housing, and is focused on general needs homes in the UK housing sector. UK-GBC have gathered the most compelling evidence and advice about building and neighbourhood design features that can enhance the health and wellbeing of residents.

According to the report, there are eighteen factors that make up a healthy home ranging from lighting, sound insulation and materials, through to connections with the local community and practical considerations such as having laundry provision to prevent moisture and mould build up.

Key findings of the report are:

  • Construction and property professionals have an opportunity to dramatically enhance the lives of people through the design and quality of homes and neighbourhoods.
  • The three aspects of health and wellbeing are equal – mental, social and physical, requiring the industry to think beyond the physical impact of design.
  • Solutions for minimising the impact of the built environment on mental health are often the same as those required to minimise the impact on physical health - a single design feature, such as good daylight levels, good ventilation or the provision of open space, can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing and physical health so need to be considered early in the design process.
  • Many of the design features which enhance health and wellbeing also bring positive environmental benefits. For example, better daylighting can also reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, and the provision of green space can enhance biodiversity.
  • Health and wellbeing is increasingly influencing consumers’ buying and decision-making processes, spanning generations and consumer demographics.

The report also explores the value case for action. Through the combination of a literature review, dialogue with housing providers and dedicated consumer research undertaken by Saint-Gobain, the report demonstrates that there is a compelling business case for the industry to focus on health and wellbeing in residential property.

Alan Fogarty, Sustainability Partner commented “We were delighted to be involved in the UK-GBC Healthy Homes report as it provides a much needed spotlight on the factors that influences health and wellbeing in residential buildings”.

To read the full report, please click here.

Image © Sheppard Robson

25 Aug 2016

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