A healthier new year, one and all

Anastasia Mylona explains CIBSE’s plans for addressing workplace comfort in 2017

Occupants’ health and comfort has always been a consideration of building services engineers. However, there is now a growing, wider interest around the impact of buildings on people’s health and productivity. Clients and property professionals are asking how buildings can facilitate wellbeing, while performance tools – such as the Well Building Standard – are raising the profile of workplace comfort.

Following the University College London and CIBSE conference on health, wellbeing and productivity in non-domestic buildings in November, CIBSE is preparing guidance on a more human-centric approach to design and the wider aspects of occupant wellbeing. It plans to revise and expand TM40 Health issues in building services to cover the wellbeing aspects that building services engineers can influence, with appropriate technical references. It will also map out current standards and legislation.

Clients are asking how buildings can facilitate wellbeing

TM40 will define wellbeing and the environmental factors that affect it, and cover: the implications of wellness on human health and productivity; applicable regulations, legislation and standards; and guidance on thermal, visual and auditory comfort, water and waste management, and indoor and outdoor air quality.

CIBSE Resilient Cities Special Interest Group is also holding a series of events on this topic, including one on the ‘urban microclimate’ on 6 January, at London City Hall. It will review and debate our understanding of the relationships between high-density urban typologies, urban climate, energy management, green infrastructure, and the health and wellbeing of urban dwellers. Visit the group’s website for more information and to book a place.

CIBSE, with the Adaptation and Resilience in the Context of Change (ARCC) network, is also planning a design competition, challenging entrants to consider green infrastructure as a building service for healthier, productive and sustainable offices.

  • Dr Anastasia Mylona MCIBSE is research manager at CIBSE