Every year, thousands of buildings are erected around the world to house hundreds of people in homes, offices, shops, clinics, among other spaces. Given this, how safe are we to find ourselves in a healthy space? Do we assume a doctor’s office is healthy just because it’s a doctor’s office?
To clarify this and other aspects, the Harvard University School of Public Health, in the company of the Healthy Buildings Team, has established 9 factors that all buildings must meet to be considered "healthy". The team, led by Dr. Joseph Allen, ensures that these 9 fundamentals are essential in preserving the productivity and well-being of people within any building, which should also be taken into account before the construction of other buildings in the future.
The 9 factors are:
Ventilation must be maintained at all times throughout the building. In addition, it must be filtered from external nanoparticles and prevent it from circulating through ducts near contaminated areas outside.
It is necessary to assess air quality and ensure that moisture and pollution do not exceed the limit. To do this, the best option is to invest in clean air systems and purifiers, which will maintain air quality at the best levels.
To preserve comfort and avoid the proliferation of bacteria or pathogens, the temperature of the environment should be optimized and sudden changes between spaces should be avoided.
Inspections should be scheduled to avoid the concentration of humidity sources in the building, as well as to detect any problems in the systems responsible for preventing high humidity levels.
Dirt and pests
Undoubtedly, dirt and pests are indicators of an unhealthy building. Managers should therefore keep spaces clean, avoid waste accumulation and maintain regular pest controls.
A healthy building is also a safe building. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that there is sufficient lighting, closed-circuit monitoring in common areas, and emergency response protocols.
Like air, water is extremely important to the inhabitants of a building. For this reason, the quality of it must be preserved through internal purification systems and avoid ponds in the pipes.
In addition to chemical pollution, sonic pollution is also a reality. To avoid this, it is necessary to control indoor and outdoor noise and keep it below 35dB.
Natural light and views
In addition to artificial light, all spaces must have a point of direct visibility to exterior windows. This allows you to have a real view of the outside and also enjoy the much-needed natural light.