There is a strong body of evidence of the tangible ways that building design can improve wellbeing. To the uninitiated, “health, wellbeing and productivity” might sound like an alternate title for the “mind, body, spirit” section of Waterstones. In fact, it’s emphatically evidence-based.
There’s nothing new about the idea that buildings can affect occupants’ Health. But over the last couple of decades, a growing body of evidence has shown that the design of building can have an impact on the overall wellbeing of those who use it. Studies have found that hospital patients with views of nature healed more quickly, that office workers with a window seat sleep an average of 46 minutes longer per night and that doubling the supply of outdoor air to an office reduces short-term sick leave by 35%.
The World Green Building Council has brought all together in their publication, “Health, Wellbeing & Productivity in Offices, the next chapter for green building”. It presented evidence on a range of factors including air quality, lighting and thermal comfort, but also layout, the look and feel of a space, and contact with nature. Others have followed such as WELL who certify buildings for wellbeing. One example of walking into a WELL-certified building would be the management of lighting - not just more daylight, but better quality artificial lighting that changes throughout the day to match humans’ circadian rhythms. Not only does this make people feel better, be more productive and healthier, it also reduces energy requirements.
For many years a small proportion of organisations have partially worked remotely and recently with the global exposure to COVID-19 we have experienced more people operating remotely.
At Urban Wellbeing Solutions we consider these different aspects and look at how the built space and virtual spaces integrate with other space categories such as Blue and Green to create an Urban environment in its totality which considers the wellbeing of those who live, work and travel through them while creating sustainable long-term environment.