Creating Healthy Buildings: Trends in Sustainable Development


The impact of the built environment on health and well-being is not a new finding, but it has emerged recently as an increasingly important priority in the design and construction industry. As greater public awareness drives demand, healthy buildings designed and operated to enhance the health and well-being of their occupants will be important differentiators in an increasingly green marketplace.

Dodge Data & Analytics first examined health and sustainable development as a transformative trend in 2014 with the Drive Toward Healthier Buildings SmartMarket Report. This study builds upon the findings of the previous one by examining how United States building owners, developers and managers consider the impact of buildings on health and well-being, including their degree of interest in healthier building features, their goals for their investments in those features, the drivers and obstacles they perceive for increasing their investments in healthy buildings and the benefits they have accrued from creating healthy buildings.

This report provides perspectives of U.S. building owners, architects, interior designers, and contractors about creating healthy buildings, including:

  • Benefits achieved and metrics for measuring building impacts.
  • Owner goals for healthier buildings and interest in sustainable development.
  • Top drivers, obstacles and key partnerships influencing wider adoption of healthier building practices.
  • Insights from public health professionals highlighting research and policy trends in this area.

The findings demonstrate that key metrics of building performance, including employee satisfaction and engagement surveys, are used by less than half of owners, who mostly rely on occupant feedback and complaints to understand the impact of their buildings on their occupants. More research and data on how to improve building health impacts and more public awareness are perceived as the top drivers by all players to increase consideration of building health impacts during design and construction. Opportunities to find data and build partnerships already exist for those seeking them, especially with public health professionals, whom the study findings reveal to be natural allies to drive awareness and contribute research.

We would like to thank all our partners, and especially our premier partners Delos and the Canada Green Building Council, for helping us to bring these important findings to the industry.