Health and well-being are emerging as a global leadership and market differentiation opportunity for property companies and funds around the world. India is witnessing tremendous awareness in good health and well-being, which in turn enables consumers to look for healthy and eco-friendly buildings to live. More than 70% of our lives are spent indoors, thus choosing the right home is imperative to health and wellness plan.
World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing" and the right built environment has the ability to impact all the three areas positively. The Green Building Movement in India, which started in the 2000s are mostly about the environment impact of the buildings and how to reduce them sustainably over a period of time. With more 6000 green buildings across India, we have come a long way in bringing green building concept into mainstream real estate market. But the future of real estate is in providing healthy buildings that are incremental towards the physical, mental and social wellbeing of the occupants along with the environment.
IGBC Health & Well-being Rating :
IGBC (Indian Green Building Council) has launched its Health & Well-being rating for the built environment, which emphasis on the vital role in the wellness of the occupant and importance of people centric design. The rating aims to strength the area of well-being and would guide facilities to be safe, healthy, productive and add to the overall happiness of the occupants.
The objective of the rating is to facilitate the buildings to incorporate people centric measures for enhancing the health & well-being. The framework will enable organisations to address various aspects such as indoor air quality, water quality, hygiene parameters, healthy food choices and lifestyle.
Approach : Whole Body Mind
A holistic 'Whole Body Mind' approach links the Health & Well-being with the five senses through which the occupants perceive the built environment. It focusses on treating a person as a whole including his/her body and mind. The whole body and mind approach addresses physical body function, ability to recognise emotion, think and communicate.
Key Focus Areas of the Certification :
- Physical Well-being
- Emotional Well-being
- Intellectual Well-being
- Social Well-being
Benefits of Health & Well-being rating :
Awareness Creation amongst occupants
- Awareness on indoor air quality, water quality and consumption requirement, along with their impacts
- Awareness on importance of fitness, nutritional choices and eco-friendly practices
Improvements in Built environment
- Improved Visual comfort, Thermal comfort, Olfactory comfort and Acoustic comfort for the building occupants
- Improved Hygiene and better sanitation
- Caring environment and safer surroundings
Positive impact on Health of Occupants
- Lower sickness rates, spread of diseases, physical strain and associated health impacts in occupants
- Enhanced fitness levels of the occupants
- Reduces health hazards and related Communicable and Non- Communicable Diseases such as Chronic Respiratory Diseases (CRD), Cancer, Visual and Hearing Impairments, Cardiovascular Diseases, Chronic Respiratory Diseases and Bone & Joint Disorders etc.
- Improved quality of life, health and well-being of the occupants
- Reduction in medical expenditures
- Reduction in absenteeism
- Increased Productivity
Post COVID Demand for Health & Wellbeing in Real Estate :
For real estate companies and investors, health and well-being is an area of potential value creation and risk reduction. The potential for value creation stems from increased market demand for sustainable, human-centric buildings and communities. Mainstream market participants are aware of these opportunities and are looking for points of entry and engagement. The absence of consideration for health and well-being is one indicator that a company or fund lags behind its peers.