Architects need to continue to consider healthy living when designing private and public spaces. According to the sources cited below, the Well Living Lab aims to answer critical questions to make homes, offices and independent living environments healthier places. That means indoor environments could be altered to reduce stress and increase comfort, performance and sleep.
By understanding the interplay of elements such as sound, lighting, temperature and air quality, indoor spaces may be altered to address people’s specific and overall health needs. And by understanding how people’s behavior is shaped by their physical environment, facilities can be designed to maximize positive health habits and reduce negative influences. This ambitious three-year research plan is the start toward transforming human health and well-being in indoor environments.
What is a WELL Community?
WELL community functions to protect health and well-being across all aspects of community life. The vision for a WELL community is inclusive, integrated, and resilient, fostering high levels of social engagement.
Facilitates ambient air quality with strategies to reduce traffic pollution and reduce exposure to pollution.
Encourages drinking water quality, public sanitation, and facilities provisions with strategies managing contaminated water on a systems scale and strategies to promote drinking water access.
Facilitates fruit and vegetable access, availability and affordability with policies to reduce the availability of processed foods and providing nutritional information and nutrition education. Also includes strategies for food advertising and promotion, food security, food safety and breastfeeding support.
Supports maintained illuminance levels for roads and walkways and strategies for limiting light pollution, light trespass, glare and discomfort avoidance.
Integrates environmental design and operational strategies to reduce the risk of transportation-related injuries, mixed land use and connectivity, walkability, cyclist infrastructure, infrastructure to encourage active transportation and strategies to promote daily physical activity and exercise.
Facilitates strategies to reduce heat island effect with policies to deal with extreme temperatures and manage sun exposure and ultraviolet risk.
Facilitates noise exposure assessment with planning for acoustics, techniques to reduce sound propagation and hearing health education.
Supports strategies to reduce exposure to hazardous chemical substances in cases of uncontrolled/accidental release and contaminated sites and to limit use of hazardous chemicals in landscaping and outdoor structures.
Provides access to mental health care, substance abuse and addiction services and access to green spaces.
Supports health impact assessments, policies that address the social determinants of health, health promotion programming, policies that foster social cohesion, community identity and empowerment, crime prevention through environmental design, policies and planning for community disaster and emergency preparedness.
Further Reading: You Know LEED, But Do You Know WELL?