Design for Health

Photo © Colin. License: CC BY-SA 3.0.

OVERVIEW

Design and building professionals: you’re on call. Health is not just about the doctors and nurses; interior spaces, buildings, and communities have far-reaching impacts on wellness. Design choices can:

  • help prevent mold and moisture issues

  • provide fresh air

  • ensure access to clean drinking water

  • prevent exposure to toxic chemicals

  • encourage fitness

  • support healthy circadian rhythms

Too often, though, our buildings do the opposite. These articles lay out best practices for health-focused design, based on sound scientific research.

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  • The Sound of Sustainability: Acoustics in High-Performance Design

    Feature Article

    Acoustic performance is often overlooked by human-centered design. A holistic approach shows how to navigate the complexities of “sustainable acoustics.”

  • Pest Prevention: Steps Designers Can Take

    Feature Article

    Integrated pest management (IPM) design strategies can reduce structural damage and unsanitary conditions, and improve our community’s health. 

  • Why Chemical Transparency Matters

    Feature Article

    You can’t manage what you don’t measure—especially if you don’t know it exists in the first place.

  • Finding Furniture Without Toxic Flame Retardants

    Feature Article

    Flame retardants in upholstered furniture are easier to avoid under new rules, but they’re not gone. Here’s how to navigate the changing landscape.

  • How to Access the Full Power of Biophilia

    Spotlight Report

  • The PVC Debate: A Fresh Look

    Feature Article

    PVC is banned by some green building programs and simply reviled by some groups. How did we get here, and has anything changed since vinyl became the enemy?

  • Green Design: What’s Love Got to Do with It?

    Feature Article

    Beauty, place-making, and even love are motivating many green designers, who see these values complementing core sustainability tenets.

  • Can We Replace Foam Insulation?

    Feature Article

    There are a lot of reasons to avoid foam, but its high performance can make it a hard habit to kick, as designers are finding out.

  • Doing Daylighting Right

    Feature Article

    Harvesting daylight is a popular way to save energy and promote productivity. But getting it wrong is all too easy-and can have the opposite effects.

  • Antimicrobial Chemicals in Buildings: Hygiene or Harm?

    Feature Article

    Carpets, door handles, and a myriad of other building products now contain pesticides targeting fungi and bacteria, offering potential benefit to the indoor environment, but also raising health concerns. This article asks whether antimicrobial products live up to their marketing claims and whether relying on them is a sound path to a hygienic environment.