Design affects health both of buildings’ users and viability

The physical design of a building can have considerable impact on the well being of the users and occupants for years to come. However, the effects of design decisions – good or bad – may not be apparent until a building is in use of reflected in the initial viability calculation, despite the growing significance of ESG considerations.

“We did a lot of research on the millennial generation and the large number of people that have burnout effects and the high rate of burnout,” Anja Dirks, Manager, Studio ID+.

“We were interested in how the physical context of the office environment could impact on this,” Dirks told Real Asset Insight’s Richard Betts. But she added that the challenge is also on the financial side. “If you’re talking about office design, healthy people, happy employees, you see it in the numbers but not the numbers of real estate directly.”

She said it is more apparent because there is less illness in a tenant’s business or in staff retention.

“But this is very hard to incorporate in the numbers for real estate, or financing the building up front, because these effects come afterwards.”

This does not just apply to offices and is particularly true of healthcare facilities where good design can mean less medication or fewer staff are needed.

“That has a big impact on numbers and on financing the whole healthcare sector but is not incorporated in the numbers of the real estate upfront and this is the main challenge that we see at the moment.”

Click on the video to watch the full interview or listen to the podcast below.