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Building Health

July 26, 2017
Wait, am I using “building” as a noun or a verb? Both! "Building Health" is a topic that is going to dominate our future.

Wait, am I using “building” as a noun or a verb? Both! "Building Health" is a topic that is going to dominate our future and the activating process of "Building Health" in our buildings is something we all need to do, to talk about, and to communicate with our building occupants so it becomes the biggest part of the Happiness, Satisfaction, and Productivity puzzle.

We were very pleased with our education session at Realcomm/IBcon in San Diego, "Smart Buildings and WELLNESS – Technology's Role in Healthy Buildings."

 If you have not seen the foundational work done by the HEALTHY BUILDINGS, A Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health take a look at this: 
The Healthy Buildings Team created the 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building as a standardized, holistic approach to understanding how buildings impact the people inside them. In any indoor space - offices, homes, schools, airplanes - these foundations can be assessed via Health Performance Indicators or HPIs. Derived from the business term Key Performance Indicators, HPIs are metrics that provide insight into how a building is performing. 

By tracking HPIs on all 9 Foundations of the built environment, we can discover how to optimize buildings for health. We call this "Buildingomics": the totality of factors in the built environment that influence the health, well-being, and productivity of people who work in those buildings.

(How to quantify and communicate Health performance indicators are outlined in this video:


Companies are now starting to explore other options on how to qualify and quantify this space. Bala Chitoor, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, FutureIP Labs 

discusses the Digital Blanket (Healthy and Productive Buildings) that makes those factors that contribute to building health visible on a real-time basis to occupants. Those factors includes air quality, temperature, humidity, ventilation, occupancy, noise, and security among others.

Also, take a look at what is happening in Helsinki! This article, Overhauling a Work Environment Into The Digital Era from Patrik Etelävuori, Head of Concepts and Innovations - Facilities, Tieto, provides some great insights. I had never heard of a "VP of Wellbeing and People Analytics" before. It’s a great new title and a strong indicator of the importance of building health in our future.

This new direction can be seen in a smart office tool like Moodmetric which offers a corporate well-being service for companies wishing to actively prevent excessive stress within their organizations. The Moodmetric ring and app enable personalized stress data analytics for high-performing individuals who want to learn to balance stress effectively.

Of course, lighting plays a big part as outlined in this article: Smart Buildings Follow The Light to Health & Wellbeing from James McHale, Managing Director, Memoori. After all, if everyone felt more awake during the day and slept better at night, we would all be healthier, calmer, more productive and therefore better at our jobs.

All this discussion puts pressure on the building owners and landlords, as corporations start to expect that the wellness factors are aligned with agreements. Space itself actually works as a recruitment tool for attracting and keeping talent.
We have provided connection to resources that will allow you qualify and quantify the value of Building Health as a very important part of the productivity puzzle.

Healthy, smart, occupant-focused buildings was actually the guiding theme for the recent Nordic Smart Building Convention 2017. A summary of the event and some of its high points done by Daphne Tomlinson, Independent Consultant, Tomlinson Business Research can be found at: Reconstructing Buildings into Platforms and Services.

Although our July theme at is building health, the issue also contains great information and opinions on the IT/OT debate, the new wave of Master System Integrators, Digital Twins and much more.

About the Author

Ken Sinclair | Editor/Owner/Founder

Ken Sinclair has been called an oracle of the digital age. He sees himself more as a storyteller and hopes the stories he tells will be a catalyst for the IoT future we are all (eventually) going to live. The more than 50 chapters in that ongoing story of digital transformation below are peppered with HTML links to articles containing an amazing and diverse amount of information.

Ken believes that systems will be smarter, self-learning, edgy, innovative, and sophisticated, and to create, manage and re-invent those systems the industry needs to grow our most important resource, our  younger people, by reaching out to them with messages about how vibrant, vital and rewarding working in this industry can be.

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