A forensic investigator of “sick buildings” and director of Harvard’s Healthy Buildings program teams up with a CEO-turned–Harvard Business School professor to reveal the secrets of a healthy building — and unlock one of the greatest business opportunities of our time.
By the time you reach 80, you will have spent 72 years of your life indoors. Like it or not, humans have become an indoor species. This means that the people who design, build and maintain our buildings can have a major impact on our health.
This book should be essential reading for all who commission, design, manage, and use buildings — indeed anyone who is interested in a healthy environment.
Healthy Buildings makes a great contribution by urging us to shift to a ‘healthfirst’ mindset in relation to our built environment. Its unique insights help close the knowledge gap around healthy buildings, reveal their important role in global sustainability, and provide practical guidance on the main factors we should all be on the lookout for in our homes, offices, and schools.
Indoor air quality directly impacts our lungs and we have a responsibility to remove indoor air pollutants that are linked to asthma, lung cancer, and other serious diseases. Healthy Buildings lays out the simple steps we can all take to improve our health.
Sustainability and health can no longer exist in separate domains. Healthy Buildings bridges the divide. It links health science and business science for a new way to think about buildings.
Healthy Buildings is both hugely important and a great read. By the end it not only completely persuaded me that improving the health of our buildings is a fabulous economic opportunity and something that could change the lives of millions of people — it gave me a very good sense of where to start. Highly recommended.
The engaging conversational style of this comprehensive book makes it an ideal read for any busy building owner or executive who wants to learn about the new science of healthy buildings and to discover how following healthy building strategies may impact their (and society’s) bottom line.
In this new era of ESG responsibility, every CEO must consider our built environment to fully meet stakeholder expectations. Joe Allen and John Macomber’s multi-disciplinary, accessible approach unlocks the secret to future human health and productivity gains in the very buildings in which we live and work.
Before he became a public health researcher at Harvard, Joseph Allen investigated hundreds of “sick buildings” as a consultant for owners who complained about illness in workers or residents from mold, dampness, and other unhealthy conditions. Sometimes the fixes were easy—increase ventilation—and sometimes they were harder—poor construction—but over time, Allen began to realize that considerable money and […]
On his first day as an assistant professor of exposure-assessment sciences at the Harvard Chan School, in 2014, Joe Allen was immediately put on the spot. “One of the deans asked me, ‘How will your research impact the world?’” Allen recalled on a recent afternoon in his office near Fenway Park. “I put that line up in […]
Climate experts and Harvard Business School lecturers discussed the consequences of climate change on urban development and the world in a panel discussion sponsored by the HBS Global Initiative on Tuesday afternoon. The event was part of Harvard’s third annual Worldwide Week, an event held to highlight international research conducted by Harvard faculty and to […]
The 2003 Sars epidemic exploded when an infected healthcare worker, suffering from minor respiratory symptoms, went to Hong Kong for a friend’s wedding and checked into a ninth-floor room in the Metropole Hotel. He fell severely ill the next day, went to a hospital and died shortly thereafter — but not before transmitting Sars to […]
In 1974, a young girl with measles went to school in upstate New York. Even though 97 percent of her fellow students had been vaccinated, 28 ended up contracting the disease. The infected students were spread out across 14 classrooms, but the young girl, the index patient, spent time only in her own classroom. The […]
States and communities around the country are beginning to take steps to reduce human contact to slow the spread of COVID-19. This “social distancing” includes canceling public gatherings such as sports events, restricting or shutting down public transportation, closing schools and other restrictions. The goal is to make transmission harder for the virus. This will buy time for communities to […]
This is not hyperbole. The estimates vary, but up to 60% of people will contract SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the next year. With mass social distancing in force to help slow the speed at which coronavirus courses through the United States and the world, many are finding themselves spending extended periods of time at […]
A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine is making people think twice about how they might be exposed to covid-19 if they open a box delivered by UPS, touch packages at the grocery store or accept food delivery. The risk is low. Let me explain. First, disease transmission from inanimate surfaces is real, so […]
In a typical year you will take two million breaths in your office. This, however, is not a typical year. The pandemic spawned by the novel coronavirus has forced a global reckoning with the awesome power of infectious diseases to grind economies to a halt. The forced lockdowns and retreat into home isolation has also […]
Healthy buildings and superior air quality are increasingly important as people spend 90% of their lives indoors. Harvard professors John Macomber and Joseph Allen discuss their case, “A Tower for the People: 425 Park Avenue,” their new book, “Healthy Buildings,” and how their learnings extend to a post-COVID world.
Like it or not, humans have become an indoor species, so buildings have a major impact on our health. That’s why the Healthy Building Movement is gaining momentum, say John Macomber and Joseph Allen. Will you ever again step onto a crowded elevator without hesitation? Reach for a doorknob without concern (or gloves)? Easing social distancing restrictions might […]
The ways people use and interact in commercial buildings—particularly office spaces—will likely be changed significantly due to the COVID-19 crisis, with building and workplace health being a top concern, according to two healthy-building experts featured on an April 21 webinar hosted by ULI’s Building Healthy Places Initiative.