The foundations of a healthy building
Making a building “healthy” isn’t a simple metaphor to be mentioned in passing, later. It’s the crux of this article. There are two sides to everything, a harmful “damaging” side, and a healthier aspect of it. Buildings might have a lot of characteristics that at first sight seem positive. Take insulation. Asbestos was a great fire retardant insulation. Lead made great pipes. Vast areas of unprotected glazing might be the architect's dream and can give great contact with the outside but not if buildings and occupants cook from solar heat gain and so does the climate.
These are destructive for both the structure and its occupants and only now are the problems of OTT glazing being realised.
The importance of our indoor environments isn’t up for debate, as we live most of our lives either inside our homes or offices.
What makes a building ‘healthy’?
Experts & Scientists have researched to death the essential criteria for a “healthy building”. Result? Blindingly obvious! Good ventilation & air quality, comfortable temperatures, a good vision out, and pure, natural light makes a “healthy” building.
Removing any of these criteria causes dangers. Zero, bad ventilation = serious health risks from disease-causing pathogens. Remember CIBSE’s guidance on ventilation and Covid-19? It’s caused a sea change towards buildings.
Professor Chris Whitty said “We have realised the extraordinary importance of improving the ventilation of workplaces, not just for Covid but also for many other respiratory infections, if we invest in that now, we’ll both help the aftermath of Covid, but also cut down on things like flu outbreaks.”
But, can Green/Sustainable buildings also be “healthy? Of course, they can.
The difference between healthy and green buildings
Green buildings must also be healthy with more natural ventilation to improve interior air quality; more daylighting to boost productivity, and more occupiable space to increase rentals – now you’re talking. The trick is to prioritize the environment and the occupants equally.
Green structures reduce or eliminate negative impacts on our climate and natural environment through Design, Construction, and Function. The priority is to make buildings and their interior systems environmentally friendly and sustainable. Non-toxic, environmentally friendly materials are common examples for construction while healthy buildings focus on the well-being of occupants and reducing any health associated risks.
Enter MicroLouvre®. Sustainable and green, made from +90% recycled copper scrap, long life (+65 years), and fully recyclable. That’s how you can make buildings healthy and protect the occupants inside. MicroLouvre® ticks all the boxes that research and good old common sense demand, to make buildings healthier. Massive heat gain reduction; 100% solar heat gain protection; Almost unrestricted Natural Ventilation and Daylight; Proven 68% air-con energy savings. No other product in the field can provide so many environmental and human benefits