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Is Your Building a Healthy Building?

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The business benefits of healthier buildings are driving increased attention across the design and construction industry.

While Facility Managers assess, monitor, and care for a building, the building itself can do much for its owners. The benefits are quite visible as balance sheet line items. Workplace enhancements boost employee health and well-being, enhancing productivity. Government incentives may be available for construction and maintenance. The public, as well, can enjoy healthy buildings.

Public, government, and employee benefits all translate to financial results.

What makes a healthy building?

In general, healthy building design continuously evolves. As areas are repurposed and work teams relocate, the layout can be adjusted to encourage physical activity. This might mean separating workstations from conference rooms, breakrooms, copiers and printers. While contributing to health by requiring a few extra steps, the distance may also reduce the work area noise level.

A variety of cost commitments can substantially improve workplace wellness. As an initial step, consider replacing petroleum-based cleaning sprays and disinfecting solutions with non-toxic alternatives. Standing desks can be installed in a variety of spaces, and sitting balls made available to replace chairs when and where employees determine. If walls will be moving for a renovation or new construction, enhanced ventilation should be drawn into the plans.

What makes a healthy workplace?

Healthy workplaces begin with building planning, but the people that work within them also contribute to the wellness. Fitness facilities are popular assets for attracting and retaining employees. If constructing or installing one is beyond the budget, a human resources team member may be able to arrange discounts at a local facility. Policy changes can contribute to employee health and well being. Healthy floors or sections of buildings can feature water and tea in place of coffee, and fresh fruit rather than packaged snacks in vending machines.