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Health, wellbeing and productivity – What we’re doing in the UK

A blog by Elinor Huggett, Sustainability Officer for the UK Green Building Council.

We at UK-GBC are very keen participants of WorldGBC’s Better Places for People campaign. It seems to us that good health and wellbeing should be a given for everyone, and the more research we do, the more we discover about the impacts our buildings have.

The first thing we’ve tried to do, and continue to work on, is awareness raising. While many people are beginning to acknowledge the link between the built environment and occupant health, explicitly designing for good outcomes here is still far from mainstream.

That’s why we’ve produced a series of entry level webinars on residential and commercial buildings, and bitesize briefings to support those with little or no knowledge.

Over the past couple of years, though, many of our members have already engaged to some degree with the topic, for example by helping us with our task groups. They represent a growing number of organisations who are beginning to act – and who need to more in depth guidance on what they should be doing. For them, the resources we provide include task group reports on officesretail, and residential buildings, and masterclasses providing a ‘how to’ on the topics.

Of course, what we really want to do is drive action, and one of the best ways of doing so is to help the people leading the field stretch themselves as far as they can. With that in mind we’re developing some new, more hands on ways of working: for example, our upcoming Wellbeing Lab is a fantastic opportunity for teams of professionals to share knowledge and apply their understanding to a live building.

We’ve also realised that engaging purely with built environment professionals isn’t enough: we need to look to those who manage and procure buildings, as well as those who are responsible for staff attraction and retention. With that in mind we now have specific content for HR professionalsOccupiersDesign and Build teams and will shortly be adding work tailored for Facilities Managers.

If anything in the above catches your interest and you’d like to know more, or just have a chat about it – drop me a line on and we’ll see what we can do.