The current pandemic has brought a 180-degree change in the way people live and work. Some of these changes may be temporary, but some might be permanent adjustments that will help in preventing another outbreak or at least improve the community’s preparation for one.
Due to COVID-19, buildings will give more emphasis to the health and wellness of their tenants. While other offices will only start implementing such changes to adapt, commercial establishments that were already certified by programs such as LEED have long been uplifting the quality of the work environment and promoting the health and well-being of their tenants—amid a pandemic or not.
Here are some ways LEED certification can help prevent diseases in the future:
LEED-certified buildings, like JEG Tower, were designed, constructed, and operates to high standards that prioritize the health of its tenants. Green buildings regulate water quality, air quality, and antibacterial functions to promote their occupants’ health and reduce the risks of getting diseases and viruses.
The LEED certification also ensures these buildings have increased ventilation which also improves the health and wellbeing of the tenants and drastically improves their work performance.
In addition to providing the basic functions, LEED-certified buildings also reduce the risk of infection and prevent cross-infection inside the workplace. The US Green Building Council (USGBC) requires establishments to include measures that will control the collusion of air and pollutants, exhaust backflow of bathrooms, Green buildings are designed to set up effective water seals to reduce the risk of virus transmission through drainage pipes. Under the LEED certification, buildings should optimize the space and plane layout to enhance the effectiveness of natural ventilation. They should also be able to regulate and control air conditioning systems by zones and have a well-designed site wind environment for the dissipation of viruses and harmful gases.
Moreover, LEED ensures that the cleanliness of the environment is greatly prioritized. Strengthened cleaning policies are followed using sustainable and safe cleaning products. Proper waste management is also observed, which plays a big role in disease prevention.
Following the ‘People’ aspect of the triple bottom line of LEED, (People, Planet, Profit), certified buildings ensure that they are safe and healthy environment for their occupants.
The vaccine against the new coronavirus is yet to be developed, which means the best protection one can have against it depends on the body’s immunity and the community’s cleanliness.
Promoting physical activity among building tenants while creating a safe and welcoming environment is the top priority of LEED-certified green buildings. These goals help in ensuring that building occupants are healthy year-round, not just during a global pandemic.
The current COVID-19 outbreak is reemphasizing the importance of prioritizing one’s health and proper hygiene. It also reminds how easily diseases can spread in the workplace. Office buildings can either help in its prevention or aid its spread and proliferation. Building certification programs such as LEED recognize the importance of certain aspects of building design and maintenance that play an important role in disease spread and prevention of outbreaks in the future.