Learn the key ideas of the book by John D. Macomber , Joseph G. Allen

Healthy Buildings

Improve the quality of your life by planning your living and working environments

Healthy Buildings is a project that was created to raise public awareness of the need to invest in people's health and well-being. Any environment, be it an office or a private home, has a significant impact on our health. Healthy Buildings lays out the minimum requirements to be taken into consideration, if we want to see improvements in our health in the near future, so that changes can be made, such as improving humidity levels and controlling ventilation, as well as being careful about the materials we choose to build with. The only way to improve the situation is by becoming aware of the current problems and working to resolve them. 

Healthy Buildings
Read in 14 min.
Listen in 17 min.

Many useful tips to:

  • Approach the topic of sustainable construction in our living environment.
  • Become more aware of the materials used in the construction of buildings and everyday objects.
  • Understand how we can actively participate in the “Healthy Buildings Movement”.
  • Think about the future, by making small changes, starting today.

The author of the book:

John D. Macomber teaches at Harvard Business School. Many of his studies on infrastructure in the United States and around the world have appeared in various magazines such as Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Wall Street Journal Asia, and Boston Globe.

Joseph G. Allen is Professor at Harvard University, and director of the Healthy Buildings program, through which he defines strategies for creating healthy environments. Committed to disseminating the right information on the importance of creating healthy environments to live in, he is a speaker at numerous events and a consultant for many companies.


People’s health and wellbeing is closely linked to the environment they live in

Numerous studies and research papers have confirmed the relationship between physical well-being and a person’s surrounding environment. In the past, human beings spent their days outdoors, but over time, we have become fond of closed environments. This has been a gradual process, in response to our eternal need for protection, to find refuge.

Eventually, humans began to show various kinds of ailments. We often talk about fine dust particles or air pollution outside, but the truth is, that humans only spend 10% of their time outdoors. So the real source of this general lack of well-being is not found outside, but indoors.

Offices, for example, present some critical issues. Sometimes the air is unhealthy because there is no circulation, the lighting is poor and mostly artificial, and manufacturing components have chemical agents that release particles which in the long run, can actually damage the body.

The interiors of houses can present similar critical issues. It is the internal environments, where we spend most of our time, which have the greatest influence on our health. We actually notice this ourselves when we walk into a room where the air is stale and we feel uncomfortable, or when we feel welcome and at home in an airy and light-filled room.

Making the places we live in healthy is the goal of the "Healthy Buildings" program, created in the Public Health department of Harvard School. Applying a few simple strategies would be enough to improve the situation and create healthy environments. The commitment of the "Healthy Buildings" program is directly focused on the improvement of people’s long term well-being. Studies have shown that healthy people are more productive, that people who are more productive work better, and that people who work better achieve better results. And after all, the best results guarantee bigger business. The need to set up a new type of working environment that makes people more ambient-aware is reinforced by the fact that good health and good business go hand in hand.


The key ideas of "Healthy Buildings"

People’s health and wellbeing is closely linked to the environment they live in
The environments we spend our time in can have a positive or negative influence on our intellectual abilities
Humans are the main obstacles to creating healthy buildings
Creating a strategy to have healthy buildings
The key principles of the “Healthy Buildings” program
Health and wellbeing needs to become our central focus
Take-home message

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