News Brief

Is Your Healthy Building Making Someone Else Sick?

A new WorldGBC framework challenges those prioritizing health and wellness to think beyond the building occupant.

 A circular diagram shows the six principles.

The Health & Wellbeing Framework is comprised of six overarching principles with many sub-principles. 

Credit: WorldGBC
Improving “health and wellbeing” through the built environment has often been code for improving outcomes for just one type of person—the office worker. The emphasis on bettering health in order to boost productivity has left other areas “underdeveloped,” according to the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC). For a more holistic view of health and wellness, WorldGBC developed a new framework for use both as an educational tool and as a design checklist.

The six principles of the Health & Wellbeing Framework promote strategies that are already bread and butter for some practitioners, such as: improving air quality, ensuring water quality, and applying active design principles. However, the “Create Social Value” principle also advocates for:

  • protecting human rights of those involved with supplying raw materials
  • safeguarding the health and well-being of people in the construction industry
  • providing long-term value to communities by addressing negative impacts like community segregation or loss of culture

“Topics such as social equity and value, community resilience to the climate emergency, and nature-based solutions are rising in the sustainability agenda,” according to WorldGBC’s executive summary of the Framework.  The Framework is intended to “expand the focus of health and well-being into all sectors of society.”

For more information:

World Green Building Council

Published December 7, 2020

Pearson, C. (2020, November 24). Is Your Healthy Building Making Someone Else Sick?. Retrieved from

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