The 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building

The idea for the “The 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building” arose from many interactions over the past several years with real estate professionals, building owners, hospital administrators, facilities directors, homeowners, and academic colleagues. Two things stood out. First, during these discussions, we would often say, “The idea of a healthy building has been made too complicated. We know how to make buildings healthy. There are a few simple foundations.” This of course led to requests to name the foundations of a healthy building.

In the ensuing discussion and debate we realized that we, the public health community, have failed to translate our research into actionable information; the richness of the public health literature was invisible to key decision-makers. Second, in these presentations and meetings we would often hear some variation of the refrain, “Your research is very interesting, but I can’t take a scientific paper into my meeting on Monday and convince a building owner or manager to do things differently. I need a short summary.” Thus, the 9 Foundations project was born.

Learn More at 9foundations.ForHealth.org


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The future of healthy buildings must be one where they are the norm, not the exception. Health cannot and should not be a luxury item, afforded to only those that can afford it. This applies to healthcare, working conditions, access to food, and, yes, the buildings where we live, work, play, pray, and heal.
JOSEPH ALLEN, DSC, MPH, CIH, Director of the Healthy Buildings Program
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Our goal is to improve the lives of all people, in all buildings, everywhere, every day.
A healthy building is a human right.

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