Health and Wellbeing

Whether living in a green home, working in a sustainably-renovated office or learning in an eco-friendly school, people all over Canada are experiencing the benefits of environmental construction and design every day.

Green buildings and homes conserve energy and water and produce less waste during construction and throughout the lifespan of the building. As a result, green buildings save taxpayers money by decreasing the burden on municipal and provincial energy, water/ and wastewater treatment and landfill services.

Green buildings and homes are also healthy places to be. They are built with better ventilation and furnished without toxic materials resulting in fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and better air quality. Green buildings are designed to increase natural daylighting and to encourage activity by location choice and interior design. They are engineered to minimize indoor noise pollution and create better thermal comfort through increased insulation and improved temperature control.

People who live, learn and work in these buildings and homes have been found to be more productive, higher performing and healthier. Whether it is improved employee retention, fewer sick days or better math scores, the end result is clear: green buildings are good for you.

The physical office environment

The office environment is made up of several factors, which can be measured or evaluated in numerous ways.

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Indoor air quality & ventilation

  • Pollutants including VOCs
  • CO2
  • Aroma
  • Ventilation rate or fresh air
  • Moisture Content
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Lighting & Daylighting

  • Quantity
  • Quality
  • Glare
  • Daylight
  • Task type
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Biophilia & Views

  • Connections to nature
  • Views outside
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Thermal Comfort

  • Indoor air temperature
  • Mean radiant temperature
  • Air velocity
  • Relative humidity
  • Clothing
  • Activity
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Noise & acoustics

  • Background noise
  • Privacy & interference
  • Vibration
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Look & Feel

  • Design character & brand ethos, including color, shape, texture, & art
  • Cultural, gender & age sensitive design
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Interior layout & active design

  • Workstation density
  • Task based spaces & ergonomics
  • Breakout spaces and social features
  • Active design
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Location & access to amenities

  • Access to amenities
  • Transport
  • Quality of public realm

For more information and research about the health and wellness benefits of green buildings, please see:

Green offices - World Green Building Council Report: Health, well-being and productivity in offices: The next chapter for green building
Green schools  - Canada Coalition for Green Schools and Centre for Green Schools
Green homes - LEED Canada for Homes
LEED v4 focuses more industry attention on building material ingredients, and how those materials affect human health.