The design and quality of homes and neighbourhoods is a key contributor to the health and wellbeing of the people who live there, and almost 30 per cent of buyers and renters would pay more for properties with those qualities.
These are the major findings of a new report produced by the UK Green Building Council, under WorldGBC’s Better Places for People campaign.
The report, Health and Wellbeing in Homes, aims to increase the focus of the property industry on how they can positively improve the mental, social and physical health and wellbeing of home occupiers, by providing recommendations and evidence for the industry. It also includes key consumer research from Saint-Gobain, one of the sponsors of the Better Places for People campaign.
According to the report, there are 18 factors that make up a healthy home, ranging from lighting, sound insulation and materials, through to connections with the local community, and practical considerations such as having laundry provision to prevent moisture and mould build up.
Key findings of the report are:
- Construction and property professionals have an opportunity to dramatically enhance the lives of people through the design and quality of homes and neighbourhoods.
- It is vital to consider all three aspects of health and wellbeing equally – mental, social and physical, requiring the industry to think beyond the physical impact of design.
- Solutions for minimising the impact of the built environment on mental health are often the same as those required to minimise the impact on physical health - a single design feature, such as good daylight levels, good ventilation or the provision of open space, can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing and physical health so need to be considered early in the design process.
- Many of the design features which enhance health and wellbeing also bring positive environmental benefits. For example, better daylighting can also reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, and the provision of green space can enhance biodiversity.
- Health and wellbeing is increasingly influencing consumers’ buying and decision-making processes, spanning generations and consumer demographics. Saint-Gobain’s consumer research suggests that UK consumers want a home that contributes to their health and wellbeing, and almost 30 per cent would be willing to pay more for such a home, whether buying or renting.