Last edited 19 Apr 2018

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Healthy housebuilding briefing note

What is a healthy home? In April 2018, UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), with support from BRE and Hoare Lea, launched a briefing note at a Parliamentary reception to increase the knowledge of what a home that promotes good health and wellbeing is.

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[Image source: Hoare Lea, UKGBC Healthy Homes]

The design and delivery of a home and its community are key contributors to the health and wellbeing of the people who will live there. Done well, new homes can be a force for good, creating vibrant communities where people are happy, productive, and ultimately cost the NHS and other public services less.

High quality homes, that foster happy communities and healthy people are far more likely to be accepted by existing local communities. Improving the public perception of new homes will also encourage a more diverse workforce, helping to tackle the skills gap. Both of these issues are key to delivering more homes.

An energy efficient home is one that is reasonably easy to define, but a healthy home is a little more difficult. There are many issues that a developer could focus on, all of which have varying impact upon peoples physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Communicating this to future occupants is difficult, prospective householders can be sceptical about claims made by developers – also what are the important issues? The Home Quality Mark looks at the impact of 36 issues upon health and wellbeing to give consumers an 'indicator' on their home's performance (it also provides indicators for running cost and environmental footprint as well as an overall rating of quality). These issues are robust, scientifically-based and assessed by third party assessors so consumers can trust the score.

The Home Quality Mark combines this with criteria around construction quality and aftercare, this addresses the potential that a new home may well be well designed, but it could fall short in construction quality giving the new owners problems.

As part of the report, a consumer survey was completed. It highlighted a number of key wellbeing priorities for consumers (these issues are also covered in Home Quality Mark).

The UKGBC briefing note looks at a number of good practise case studies, that show that it a healthy home can be completed all over the UK.

With the requirement for more new homes, and homes that are likely to be built at a higher density then developers must think about occupants health and wellbeing.


This article was originally published here by BRE Buzz on 18 April 2018. It was written by Gwyn Roberts.

--BRE Buzz

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