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        Human health is a longstanding value of the green building movement. Green buildings can promote health and well-being in the near term while preserving resources and protecting the environment for human benefit in the long term. By intentionally deploying green building strategies, like those available for use within the LEED rating systems, owners and practitioners can simultaneously promote health and well-being at a variety of population scales. These strategies can help:

        • Create superior environments for building occupants.
        • Promote safe and healthy sites for construction workers.
        • Reduce toxic exposures throughout the supply chain.
        • Advance the health of surrounding communities.
        • Mitigate climate change to benefit global populations.

        Access our tools and resources to start advocating for health and well-being within your LEED project, or to learn more about the interaction between public health and the built environment.


        The built environment impacts both individual and population health. Health and health behaviors are highly influenced by social and environmental determinants – the physical, social, policy, and economic characteristics of the places that we live, work, and play.

        The real estate industry is well-positioned to improve population health through its direct influence over the design, construction, and operation of the built environment. By making the decision to promote health, green building practitioners are intentionally utilizing public health research to advocate for and contribute to a culture of health within real estate, while maintaining a critical focus on climate change mitigation.


        While LEED contains a number of health-related strategies, practitioners must be intentional in their use of LEED to maximize its potential health benefit. A needs-based health promotion process such as the LEED Integrative Process for Health Promotion (IPHP) pilot credit can help project teams select and tailor LEED credits based on a project’s specific health context.

        The majority of credits within the LEED v4 and v4.1 rating systems address the health of the site user and health-related credits are found within every LEED credit category. These credits include guidance on improving indoor air quality, promoting physical activity and healthy nutrition, and designing for mental health and comfort, among many others. Some strategies, however, do not fully state their potential health benefit(s) and/or require practitioners to choose a specific health-related compliance pathway.

        With an intentional, needs-based approach to the application of credit requirements, projects can target health goals most relevant to their project’s population. Practitioners can also leverage the power of the rating system to achieve sustainability and energy efficiency goals while maintaining a focus on health promotion efforts.


        LEED and human health are deeply interconnected – the built environment impacts both individual and population health. By intentionally applying LEED strategies and credit requirements, project teams can promote health and well-being by creating superior environments for building occupants, reducing toxic exposures throughout the supply chain, advancing the health of surrounding communities, and mitigating climate change to benefit global populations.

        The following tools and resources are continuously being developed and updated to inform practitioners about the relationship between health and the built environment and the steps they can take to establish an intentional process for health promotion within their LEED projects.

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