Our ears are constantly exploring our living environment for potential threats and opportunities. They are a vital part of the body’s defense mechanism. Those who live near busy roads and airports have to deal with an immense amount of noise pollution. Most people would see noise as less of a problem as long as the noise isn’t so loud as to cause instant damage. However, constant noise pollution can have serious health ramifications.
Poor indoor air quality is the largest environmental cause of death in the world, with cardiovascular diseases as the biggest health problem. It can also lead to negative cognitive effects, such as anxiety, stress and depression. The indoor air in buildings in cities can sometimes contain as much as 5 to 7 times the amount of pollution concentrations compared to outside air.
Sometimes the concept of a Healing Environment is used to design an indoor climate, but in general it is only used in healthcare. A Healing Environment focuses on psychological aspects and is intended to promote people's well-being and reduce stress. The Evidence Based Design is the foundation for the Healing Environment, for this only use is made of knowledge that has proven itself in practice.
Sustainability is of paramount importance within office property, but health is still an underexposed theme, even though a healthy office has a much more interesting business case than a sustainable office.
Enviture's first healthy environments are in progress! We are working on a residential development of two full-floor apartments located in the heart of The Hague, The Netherlands. Each of the apartments features floor-to-ceiling southern exposure and is integrated with the latest requirements of the Enviture Standard. The building is pursuing the Enviture Residential Pilot Program.
Taking into account all the facts that have been encountered, it appears that both outdoor activities and nature as well as interaction with nature can have very positive effects on health and well-being. The evidence from the studies contains studies on appearance and outdoor activities, nature in the outside environment, therapeutic use of nature and the application of nature in the living and working environment.
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