Expert in sustainability in interior design and BIID affiliate, Anna Whitehead, contributed on behalf of the Institute to the latest UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) Task Group report – ‘Health and Wellbeing in Homes’. Published earlier this month, July 2016, the report is aimed at those with a role in developing, designing, delivering or managing housing, including interior designers. Using compelling evidence, the report calls for a concerted effort to focus and consider the mental, social and physical health and wellbeing of the people who occupy homes that are built and retrofitted.
“The BIID is committed to helping our members to drive sustainability and wellbeing in design, and welcomes this new report by the UKGBC,” comments Susie Rumbold, BIID President. “We are pleased to see that the report highlights the importance of addressing sustainability issues when approaching a design and build project and draws attention to the impact that design can have on the health and wellbeing of individuals. It’s important that professionals in the design, construction and property industry understand the positive effects that good design can have on individuals and their wider communities, and can utilise this knowledge when designing their projects.“
The ‘Health and Wellbeing in Homes’ report outlines how the home; both the location and the physical building, influences almost every aspect of our lives – from how well we sleep, to how often we see friends, to how safe and secure we feel. Some of the key findings and actions outlined in the document include:
- Designers need to consider all three aspects of health and wellbeing – mental, social, and physical – equally.
- Many design features that enhance health and wellbeing also bring positive environmental benefits.
- Construction and property professionals have the ability to dramatically enhance the lives of the people they design and build for.
- It’s important to engage with designers early in the development process, to undertake assessments and analysis of opportunities to promote health and wellbeing for residents.