It’s well-known that buildings have a big impact on the environment. What may not be as apparent is that the building, or even the room you’re in, can also have a direct impact on your health and wellbeing.
Ever heard of ‘sick building syndrome’? This describes scenarios in which people in a building suffer from symptoms of illness, such as headaches, fatigues, and eye and throat irritation, and the symptoms appear to be linked to time spent in a building itself.
On the flip side, this means that we can have buildings and homes that help us feel better, healthier and more comfortable.
Green buildings are buildings that in their design, construction and operation, reduce or eliminate negative impacts as well as create positive impacts on our climate and natural environment, and importantly, on the people living in the building. Any type of building can be green – be it an office, a school or a home. Seeing as we spend a significant amount of time at home, especially as work from home looks to be the default for a while longer, a green home can make a huge difference to your well-being and health.
Here are some ways in which green homes are better for us:
They help you think better
Green homes are shown to have a positive impact on your decision-making abilities and productivity levels. A study by Harvard found that people working in green, well-ventilated offices saw up to a 101% increase in cognitive scores.
You can breathe better
An important feature of green homes is that they make use of eco-certified materials and finishes that produce little to no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are substances that can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, shortness of breath, and other health problems so it’s no wonder that air quality tends to be improved in green homes.
You sleep better
Green homes optimise the use of natural daylight, and use different types of lighting to keep our body clocks regulated, which in turn can improve our sleep quality at night for better rest.
You just feel better
Green homes incorporate natural elements in their design and these have a positive impact on mental health and stress levels. Green homes can also reduce environmental noise, which helps ease psychological distress.
While the benefits of green homes are apparent, it’s important to understand that it is not just architects, interior designers and property developers who shape green homes; homeowners play a key part in ensuring that their homes, choices and actions are green. By taking simple steps, all of us can create homes and spaces that are safe, comfortable and healthy to live in.