What is a Healthy Building?
I was recently interviewed by CRE Radio and TV host Howard Kline on the topic of ‘what is a Healthy Building?’ After 28 years in the Commercial Real Estate (CRE) industry giving innumerable presentations on indoor air quality, mold in commercial buildings, and commercial sustainability, our company has proven expertise in this field. After all, our company’s name is “Healthy Buildings.”
To me, a healthy building is all about efficiency. A healthy building is an efficient building that allows the people within the building to operate at their highest functionality. A building is a machine that works on behalf of us humans. The goal of the building is to enable the humans working within the structure to operate at their peak efficiency. If the building enables the people within to work in a productive, happy environment, then it creates a more efficient and profitable asset for the building owner.
Carolyn Rickard-Brideau, Senior Partner of Little Architects, also seems to agree with this stance. Although her company’s methodology as an architecture firm is to design a space that maximizes the overall health of the buildings occupants to operate at their highest potential, our company’s approach is to document and validate all the hard work and sustainability efforts that our clients have implemented in their commercial buildings.
When the building operates as designed, I couldn’t agree more with Carolyn. We see this time and time again when performing yearly indoor air quality audits. When a building performs to its design, the engineering and architecture of the building work together in harmony to deliver a ‘Healthy Building’ for the human inhabitants.
Delivering the thermal comfort levels, relative humidity levels, and correct amounts of outside air to a wide range of sensibilities can be quite a challenge for facility managers. HVAC systems also need to filter outside pollutants. To ensure a healthy building, the architectural design and engineering of the commercial property needs to operate in harmony. Additionally, performing annual Indoor Air Quality inspections will ensure that your building is operating as designed, and will also serve as a communication tool that your facility is going above and beyond to maintain itself as a ‘Healthy building.’