TORONTO (August 14, 2018) — The Urban Land Institute (ULI) explores the growing popularity of building for health and wellness and the value derived from it in a new report, The Business Case for Healthy Buildings: Insights from Early Adopters. The report documents how real estate leaders worldwide are increasingly looking to create homes and workspaces that support healthy lifestyles.
“From Los Angeles to London and beyond, developers, investors, building owners and managers, and leasing firms for office, mixed-use, and residential projects are looking to learn from the early adopters and promote the next generation of high-performing buildings focused on health and wellness,” according to the report, produced through ULI’s Building Healthy Places initiative. The initiative leverages the power of ULI’s global networks to shape projects and places in ways that improve the health of people and communities.
The report cites a variety of research that supports building healthy places, including ULI’s Building Healthy Places Toolkit, which provides recommendations for promoting health in real estate design and development; ULI’s Building for Wellness: The Business Case, which explores the value proposition for healthy buildings; CBRE’s Wellness in the Workplace: Unlocking Future Performance report, which examines healthy workplaces from the standpoint of building design and construction, office management strategies, and office programming; and Harvard University’s The 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building, which looks at the connection between health, productivity and building design.
It provides an overview of building standards for wellness that are being obtained with more regularity by developers seeking to distinguish their projects – Fitwel, which originated as a certification for federal buildings in the U.S. and is now available to the private sector in 22 countries; and the WELL building standard, pioneered by Delos several years ago and which has expanded to nearly 900 projects in 34 countries.
The Business Case for Healthy Buildings features four case studies of developments built for health and wellness, including the value achieved by the investment:
- CBRE’s offices in Toronto and Vancouver
- Arup’s Boston office
- Hollywood Proper Residences, Hollywood, California
- Genentech Building 34 – The Hub, San Francisco
While interest continues to grow in building for wellness, the report notes that the certification movement is still evolving, due to uncertainties such as a lack of general clarity on total costs; whether certification definitively results in higher rents and lower vacancy rates; lease complications; and potential liability.
Still, despite these uncertainties, “Many owners and developers report that certified buildings offer a way to appeal to tenants and secure future projects as the trend toward healthier building grows,” the report says. “They also believe that certified buildings show sustainability-conscious investors and tenants that they are committed to learning about the process, so they can develop future healthy projects more efficiently.”
On September 12th, ULI Toronto will expand on the findings from the report with a panel event where experts from CBRE, TD Bank, Oxford Properties, and the WELL Building Institute will dive into the latest workplace strategies and how certifications are elevating physical real estate and helping buildings and businesses win the war for talent.
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About ULI Toronto
ULI Toronto is part of a global network of real estate and land development professionals with a mission to provide leadership and a forum for discussion around city building and responsible use of land and in sustaining and creating thriving communities worldwide. ULI Toronto carries forth that mission by serving the Greater Toronto Region’s public and private sectors with pragmatic land use expertise and education. Presently, ULI Toronto has nearly 1,700 members.