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9 Foundations

9 Foundations

Clear and actionable core elements of healthy indoor environments

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

The 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building

The Inspiration Behind the 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building

The idea for the “The 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building” arose from many interactions over the past several years with real estate professionals, building owners, hospital administrators, facilities directors, homeowners, and academic colleagues. Two things stood out. First, during these discussions, we would often say, “The idea of a healthy building has been made too complicated. We know how to make buildings healthy. There are a few simple foundations.” This of course led to requests to name the foundations of a healthy building.

In the ensuing discussion and debate we realized that we, the public health community, have failed to translate our research into actionable information; the richness of the public health literature was invisible to key decision-makers. Second, in these presentations and meetings we would often hear some variation of the refrain, “Your research is very interesting, but I can’t take a scientific paper into my meeting on Monday and convince a building owner or manager to do things differently. I need a short summary.” Thus, the 9 Foundations project was born.

Relevant Research

Jun 24, 2020
Schools for Health: Risk Reduction Strategies for Reopening Schools
Primary and Secondary schools opening in the fall must make adjustments to effectively minimize the spread of COVID-19. This report addresses risk reduction strategies for schools to re-open in Fall 2020.
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Apr 30, 2020
What Makes an Office Building “Healthy”
In the post-Covid-19 world, buildings will be seen as a first line of defense against disease. Re-populating office spaces must rely on following a hierarchy of controls to minimize risk of exposure, and building performance is at the center of the equation.
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Dec 3, 2019
Residential Environment and Undergraduate Student Health
An increase in available dorm space resulted in a decrease in upper respiratory infections for occupants.
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In The News

Jun 24, 2020
Washington Post: Yes, kids should be going back to school in the fall
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Jun 4, 2020
Harvard Public Health Magazine: Healthy Buildings on the Horizon
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Jun 3, 2020
Harvard Business School: Who Guarantees Your Workplace is Safe for Return?
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