Health and wellness issues are becoming a driving force in the building design and construction world. Air quality, temperature control, and lighting levels are key factors for occupant satisfaction. As sustainability initiatives spread and new technologies are adopted, design firms and construction companies must expand their capabilities to address emerging wellness standards.
An article in FMI Corp.’s fourth “FMI Quarterly” issue for 2017 discusses the convergence of health and wellness in the architecture and engineering space. The article, “Health and Wellness: The Next Disruption in Sustainable Building Design,” notes how Millennials preferences for all things green, healthy and innovative are expected to be major influences on building design — now and in the future.
LEED continues to dominate the green building certification market, especially in the United States. However, the authors of this FMI article believe we’re now moving into the next phase in the evolution of sustainable design.
“We’re now witnessing the increased convergence of green and wellness. While green certifications such as LEED focus more on the environmental impact of a building, wellness rating systems emphasize the health and well-being of the building’s occupants.“
The article goes on to note there are two groups that are currently addressing the health and wellness of buildings are the International WELL Building Institute and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The WELL Building Institute developed a WELL Building Standard and certification process, which integrates health, design, and management. The CDC created a new wellness program, the Facility Innovations Toward Wellness Environment Leadership (Fitwel) certification, which has been piloted on General Services Administration buildings.
You can read the full article on the FMI website.