The ROI on Healthy Buildings: Worth the Investment
Making sure buildings are healthy for their occupants has become an increasingly visible priority over the last few years, and the coronavirus pandemic has only increased attention on the topic.
A recent study by The Real Estate Innovation Lab at MIT indicates that healthy buildings are also a good investment. According to the study, buildings that are WELL or FITWEL certified command between 4.4 percent and 7.7 percent more rent per square foot than their nearby comparable but uncertified buildings. These figures are based on public databases and rents in 10 major American cities.
According to the abstract, “This premium for healthy spaces is independent of all other factors, such as LEED certification, building age, renovation, lease duration, and submarket. These results indicate that healthy buildings are seen as an asset that correlates with employee or tenant well-being and productivity.”
The healthy building movement echoes the green building trend, which also centers occupant health along with minimizing environmental impact of building by relying on low-impact materials and emphasizing low consumption of utilities.
What Is a Healthy Building?
Generally speaking, healthy buildings have good ventilation, abundant natural light, and minimally toxic materials. Two of the most recognized certification programs for healthy buildings are WELL and fitwel. Both of these bodies endorse the idea that such buildings deliver a financial return. WELL cites an example in which a positive ROI was calculated in a three-month period based solely on sick leave and attrition.
There are many other features of healthy buildings, including accessible outside air flow to maintain a healthier environment and reduce human-to-human passage of airborne matter.
Elements that reflect post-pandemic hygiene include touchless workplace design, including voice activation and smart materials.
Investing in Tenant Health Brings a Financial Return
This information suggests that anyone designing a new building from the ground up should make occupant health a priority. Likewise, major renovations should also be conceived and executed with this priority in mind.
Optimizing Your HVAC
What’s the takeaway for existing buildings? Owners and operators should make every effort to make buildings as healthy as possible for occupants. One way to do this is by optimizing the building’s HVAC.
To attract and retain tenants, property owners need to make every effort to ensure that ventilation is maximized, and that all functions operate according to the highest standard. While clearing the “no Legionella” bar was sufficient in the old days, today’s HVAC systems should be far more ambitious.
Chemtex Can Help
That’s where Chemtex comes in. Talk to your Chemtex representative about how to improve interior air all year round, whether you are heating or cooling. There are many strategies to keeping cooling towers and boilers as pristine as possible and as efficient as possible. We can help you establish and maintain systems that promote the good health of building occupants.
Consumers are more aware of health and ventilation than ever. Owners and management can and should make the health benefits of a building a selling point, whether trying to attract or retain employees or tenants.
We look forward to reviewing your HVAC and helping you make it the best it can be, for occupant health as well as your bottom line.