Healthy Buildings

Health and wellness in offices involves considering how the built elements of an office detract or contribute to human health, wellbeing and productivity, and working out what we can change so that we thrive in our offices.

We’ve separated healthy and wellness into four themes:

  • MIND: The personal and subjective qualities of the office including elements like office aesthetics, connection to nature, and employee satisfaction. In our key elements below we've included an example occupancy survey to help determine possible areas for improvement in an office.

  • BODY: Personal but objectively measurable elements relate to aspects such as human health, activity levels, absenteeism, and active transport use. Corporate health programs by health insurers have addressed this area for many years, but we are now gaining a better understanding of whether office layout and culture supports or inhibits individuals’ efforts to be healthier and happier.

  • CULTURE: The collective behaviours of an organisation highlights whether health and wellness ranks as a corporate value. Office policies, procedures, employee handbooks and even management style can reveal a lot about health and wellness in the office culture, as can public company value statements and marketing.

  • WORKPLACE: A collectively shared physical space includes the type of office plan; end of trip facilities; environmental monitoring; accreditations such as NABERS; the air, water, light and acoustics; ergonomics; and the relationship of health and wellness to energy efficiency. Lighting, acoustics and air quality have significant effects on people’s performance and wellbeing.

Our key elements and related resources below have been designed to help you consider how to make your building healthy and what you need to do in order to implement change.

Key elements

Healthy buildings overview

A summary of the various dimensions that make up a healthy and productive workplace.

CitySwitch Guide to Occupant Surveys

For any health and wellness project, gathering qualitative data through an occupancy survey is a great place to start.

Ten steps to improve staff engagement and health

Not ready to tackle full accreditation but keen to improve staff engagement and health? Try these ten actions.

The Fifth Estate ebook: healthy offices

In collaboration with CitySwitch, The Fifth Estate has released a free ebook about healthy offices.

Improving cognitive performance

 

Indoor environmental quality has a major impact on our cognitive performance.

Related resources

Why Expand the Band - a factsheet for building owners

Why Expand the Band - a factsheet for building owners

Over heating or cooling your building?  This factsheet will show you how we can provide better occupant comfort, save money and reduce emissions by expanding the band.

Why Expand the Band - a factsheet for Tenants

Why Expand the Band - a factsheet for Tenants

Increase productivity, reduce emissions and save money.  This factsheet will explain how.

The effects of higher temperature setpoints on office workers

The effects of higher temperature setpoints on office workers

Read the latest reserch into the effects of temperature set points on office workers.

Bring your Best Self - Digital banners and social media

Bring your Best Self - Digital banners and social media

Want to improve occupant comfort?  Use these digital banner across your intranet and employee social media channels.

Bring your Best Self- Foyer Displays

Bring your Best Self- Foyer Displays

Need some fresh foyer displays?  Download these 'Bring Your Best Self' artwork for a number of pull up banner displays.

Bring your Best Self- Campaign Posters

Bring your Best Self- Campaign Posters

Download these fun 'Bring your Best Self' posters to use in your office. 

Toolkit: Fostering vertical communities

This CitySwitch toolkit shows how to set up a vertical community in commercial building, where tenants work together on shared sustainability goals. The kit includes step-by-step advice, plus a template agreement between parties, meeting agendas and KPIs.
Why choose a high-performing building

Why choose a high-performing building

An indicative estimate of the financial benefits of high-performing buildings, in terms of electricity saved, reduced absenteeism, retention and productivity.

Introduction to vertical communities

A vertical community is formed when a whole commercial building, with different tenants on different floors, work together to achieve common sustainability goals that improve the occupants’ overall experience of the building.
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Case studies

Healthy buildings overview

A summary of the various dimensions that make up a healthy and productive workplace.

CitySwitch Guide to Occupant Surveys

For any health and wellness project, gathering qualitative data through an occupancy survey is a great place to start.

Ten steps to improve staff engagement and health

Not ready to tackle full accreditation but keen to improve staff engagement and health? Try these ten actions.

The Fifth Estate ebook: healthy offices

In collaboration with CitySwitch, The Fifth Estate has released a free ebook about healthy offices.

Improving cognitive performance

 

Indoor environmental quality has a major impact on our cognitive performance.

Search resources

CitySwitch Signatory of the Year and New Signatory Awards - category judging criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 28 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 10 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 10 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points).
Note, new Signatories submitting for New Signatory of the Year Award need only complete an indicative rating – all other submissions must be accredited.

CitySwitch Partnership of the Year Award - category judging criteria

Eligibility Criteria

Submitted projects should:

  • Involve more than one registered company 
  • Demonstrate that they are  innovative and over and above “business as usual”
  • Demonstrate that they catalyse “market transformation” and or “address a market barrier”
  • Deliver a reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions within the built environment 

Judging Criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 14 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 17 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 17 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points)
  • The submitting entity MUST be a CitySwitch Signatory
Note, Signatories submitting for the Partnership of the Year Award may submit an accredited NABERS tenancy, whole building or base building rating.

It’s easy and free to join the program. Your good-will commitment to the program is an acknowledgement of the business sector’s role in
contributing to environmental sustainability and your intention to reduce your own energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.

As part of this, Signatories to the program commit to achieve an accredited NABERS Energy tenancy rating (between 4 and 6 stars) and
work with CitySwitch to improve their tenancy’s environmental performance.

Find out more about how obtaining a NABERS Energy rating ensures you can benchmark your performance, better manage your progress
over time and promote your star rating achievement.