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Health Emerges as a Priority for Building Owners

Oct. 20, 2016

Survey reveals increasing emphasis on healthy buildings.

As the links between health and building efficiency continue to become even stronger, wellness in the workplace receives more attention as a possible area for solutions. A report released by Dodge Data & Analytics – a contributing partner to USGBC – has revealed such, noting that nearly three-quarters of U.S. architects say that the health impacts of buildings motivate their design decisions.

The report, entitled “The Drive Toward Healthier Buildings 2016,” also revealed that the construction of healthier buildings for occupants is of interest for roughly two-thirds of building owners and that 79% believe healthy buildings will lead to improved employee satisfaction and engagement.

“The increased attention to building health impacts is just beginning,” says Stephen A. Jones, Senior Director of Industry Insights at Dodge Data & Analytics. “In a similar way several years ago, companies engaged in green construction because of the demonstrable business and financial benefits they were able to achieve. The findings of this report demonstrate that the focus on buildings that enhance the health and wellbeing of their occupants is likely to follow a similar trajectory, boosted by those who have committed to sustainability in their organizations.”

The report surveyed owners, architects, interior designers and contractors. The belief of 64% of respondents is that IAQ will be the most common way the building industry will address health and wellness.

Furthermore, the report revealed the top five healthy building features being implemented:

■  Better lighting/daylighting exposure
■  Products that enhance thermal comfort
■  Spaces that enhance social interaction
■  Enhanced air quality
■  Products that enhance acoustical comfort

“Our world is confronting massive challenges that affect our physical, mental and social well-being,” says Mahesh Ramanujam, COO at USGBC. “We will continue to educate and push the market to prioritize human health in the built environment, which has benefits that extend beyond the building itself to the cities, communities and neighborhoods where we live.”

To read the full report, visit www.construction.com or www.usgbc.org.

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