Recently, the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) released a report aimed directly at President Biden and policymakers on how buildings can protect and promote public health. The report provides three major components the institute believes factor into making a building healthy: indoor environmental quality, the importance of design in promoting health, and promoting knowledge transfer between building owners and officials.
NIBS: How Buildings Promote Public Health
Following the release of the report, the NIBS Consultative Council, which is comprised of high-level building community leaders and experts in the industry, compiled their findings in a series of recommendations for the president and fellow policy makers.
Among the recommendations brought forward:
- Government bodies should increase investment into critical research regarding the impact of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) on health and productivity, with research into retrofits being of particular note.
- Federal agencies should support research aimed at identifying improvements to building codes and other criteria that can provide cost-effective approaches to enhanced building performance. This should include updates to make it more anticipatory of current and future disruptions to public health.
- With input from community-based organizations, advocates and private sectors, the responsible organizations should identify and enact polices that encourage building owners and operators to invest in activities promoting healthy IEQ as one of the country’s critical pieces of infrastructure. Extra attention should be paid to communities impacted by flaws or disadvantages in existing structures.
“Ensuring that the spaces where we live and work are healthy and safe for continued occupancy is critical to overcoming the pandemic,” said Lakisha A. Woods, CAE, President and CEO of NIBS. “This is a fundamental pillar of public health and community resilience. The concept of healthy buildings goes well beyond continual sanitation of a building’s indoor environment to eliminate pathogens.”
Visit the Consultative Council for more information or to read the full report.