{{ propApi.closeIcon }}
Our industry
Our industry $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Housing industry insights Economics Data & forecasts Tailored research and analysis Advocacy & policy Advocacy Policy priorities Position statements Submissions News and inspiration Industry news Member alerts Media releases HOUSING Online
Business support
Business support $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Become an apprentice host Hire an apprentice Why host a HIA apprentice? Apprentice partner program Builder & manufacturer program Industry insurance Construction legal expenses insurance Construction works insurance Home warranty insurance Tradies & tool insurance Member perks Toyota vehicles The Good Guys Commercial Fuel savings See all Planning & safety solutions Building & planning services Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) Solutions for your business Contracts Online Advertise jobs Trusted support & guidance Contracts & compliance support Industrial relations
Resources & advice
Resources & advice $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Building it right Building codes Australian standards Getting it right on site See all Building materials & products Concrete, bricks & walls Getting products approved Use the right products for the job See all Managing your business Dealing with contracts Handling disputes Managing your employees See all Managing your safety Safety rules Working with silica See all Building your business Growing your business Maintaining your business See all Other subjects Getting approval to build Sustainable homes See all
Careers & learning
Careers & learning $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
A rewarding career Become an apprentice Apprenticeships on offer Frequently asked questions Study with us Find a course to suit you Qualification courses Learning on demand A job in the industry Get your builder's licence Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Find jobs
HIA community
HIA community $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Join HIA Sign me up How do I become a member? What's in it for me? Mates rates Get involved Become an award judge Join a committee Partner with us Our initiatives HIA Building Women GreenSmart Kitchen, bathroom and design hub Get to know us Our members Our people Our partners Support for you Charitable Foundation Mental health program
Awards & events
Awards & events $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Awards program People & Business Awards GreenSmart Australian Housing Awards Awards winners Regional Award winners Australian Housing Award winners 2024 Australian Home of the Year Enter online Industry events Events in the next month Economic outlook National Conference Events calendar
HIA shop
HIA shop $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Most popular products National Construction Code Vol 1 & 2 Waterproofing wet areas AS 3740:2021 HIA Guide to Waterproofing HIA Guide to NCC Livable Housing Provisions Top categories Building codes & standards Contracts & documents Guides & manuals Safety products Signage For your business Contracts Online Digital Australian Standards Digital Resource Library Forecasts & data
About Contact Newsroom
$vuetify.icons.faTimes
$vuetify.icons.faMapMarker Set my location Use the field below to update your location
Address
Change location
{{propApi.title}}
{{propApi.text}} {{region}} Change location
{{propApi.title}}
{{propApi.successMessage}} {{region}} Change location

$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Building healthy homes

{{ tag.label }} {{ tag.label }} $vuetify.icons.faTimes
Can we build homes that positively impact both physical and mental health? Here is how green building can create preventative health solutions.

Liz Barrett

Senior Content Producer

It's hard to turn your mind back to pre-pandemic days. A seemingly carefree time where the daily grind and side hustle were to be admired. A time where we seemed to be perpetually busy with meetings, events and social catch-ups. And when we were so busy, our own physical and mental health was pushed lower on the to-do list.

But fast forward 12 months, and the way we live and work has changed beyond compare. Possibly the most notable shift is in the way we prioritise our health and wellbeing and that of those around us.

As health and wellness take precedence, our built environments are transforming too, as Jack Noonan, the Vice President at the WELL Building Institute, explains. 'On average, we spend about 90% of our time indoors. We know from all the research that it's actually the physical and social environment that is the number one determinant of our health. It has more of an impact on your health than your access to medical care or the genes that you've got. It's important to acknowledge that the buildings that we work in, that we live in, that we spend time in have a fundamental impact on our health and wellbeing.' 

These advantages may seem far-fetched, but by embracing nature-connected design, as builders, we are in a position to build spaces for wellness. Biophilic design mimics the natural environment and harnesses natural, raw materials such as wood and verdant garden life in an interior space to create healthy homes and workplaces.

In fact, reports have shown that exposure to wood products in the interior of a home created similar health benefits to those produced by spending time in nature. Jack says, 'Planetary health and human health are inextricably linked. We know that we can't have healthy people without a healthy planet. Green building can improve health and wellbeing outcomes across our communities.'

Although Australia is currently experiencing short-term delays in timber supply, this shouldn’t deter builders from specifying natural materials when designing dwellings, especially considering the preventative health benefits they offer.

To find out more about building for wellness, visit www.woodsolutions.com.au, or listen to Timber Talks podcast.
 
Brand promotion: This article was compiled with contributions from Wood Solutions.

Global studies show that the way we design and construct spaces can have a measurable impact on our health. Some of the psychological and physical benefits include:

• Improved air quality - moderating humidity and encouraging easier breathing
• Create an overall sense of wellbeing – by evoking feelings of warmth, comfort, tranquillity, pleasure and safety
• Stress reduction - lowering of blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones
• Cognitive performance - improved mental engagement, alertness and concentration
• Increases physiological and psychological responsiveness
• Emotional and mood stabiliser - positive attitude, happiness and increased dopamine levels
• Inspirational – timber surfaces, plant life and views of trees have been linked to greater creativity