A Healthy Economy Needs Healthy Buildings, Healthy People


Facilities managers well know connecting any big-picture initiative — sustainability, health and wellness, resilience — to financial figures is the key to getting the attention of top management.


For health and wellness, that has always been an uphill battle. But the coronavirus pandemic is likely to change that, showing in stark detail the value of focusing on facilities strategies that contribute to physical health and mental wellbeing. Beyond the individual person, or even an individual building, a healthy population contributes to widespread financial health.


That’s the idea behind a new initiative from the U.S. Green Building Council called “Healthy People in Healthy Places Equals a Healthy Economy.” According to USGBC, “We don’t have to choose between public health and a healthy economy. The future will require both to thrive. That is why going forward, we will prioritize our efforts to build people’s trust that their spaces are healthy and have a positive impact not only on them, but the economy at large.”


For the immediate future, among the many strategies on the slate as part of its initiative, USGBC will upgrade LEED 4.1 and launch several new LEED Pilot credits focused on social distancing, air quality, and infection control. It’ll also issue a series of guidance reports illustrating best practices for project teams as buildings reopen.


Long-term, USGBC says it will continue to work toward a future of regenerative, healthy buildings. And it'll continue to offer project teams and facilities managers the resources and guidance to best accomplish these goals.


This post, reproduced in its entirety, was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management and FacilitiesNet.com.

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