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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

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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Nov 23, 2018
A review of the pathways of human exposure to poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and present understanding of health effects
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In The News

May 26, 2020
Washington Post: We cannot keep ignoring the possibility of airborne transmission. Here’s how to address it.
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May 18, 2020
Washington Post: Airplanes don’t make you sick. Really.
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Apr 29, 2020
Harvard Business Review: Is the Healthiest Building in the World Worth the Rent?
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