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Healthy Buildings

Unlocking Value through Design, Implementation, and Analytics

Curious about what to expect when coming to campus? Please visit our Campus Learning page.

The green building movement is quickly becoming the healthy building movement, leaving many questions for the market that this course will answer. What is a healthy building, anyway? What is the evidence that healthy buildings boost human performance? How do you define, measure, and track productivity and performance? The green building movement had certification systems like LEED and BREEAM – what are current Healthy Building certification systems and how do they compare? What new technologies, sensors, and analytical tools can be used? How does commercial real estate fit into the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) framework? How do we evaluate risk in a changing climate and design for resiliency?

What to Expect

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Businesses are in a global competition for talent, spending millions to attract the best and brightest. Once you have invested in recruiting top talent, the goal is now to optimize their performance. Healthy Buildings are the key to unlocking that performance. We spend the vast majority of our time indoors, so much so that the people who design, operate, and maintain our buildings have a greater impact on our health than our doctor. For businesses, the health and well-being of employees is their greatest asset and expense. To date, the green building movement has chased only a small fraction of the full potential of our buildings – energy, waste, and water. Future opportunities lie in focusing on human performance in buildings.

In this course we will explore the 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building to define what a healthy building is. We will show you hard evidence that can be used to make the case that an investment in healthy buildings is an investment in people that will produce enterprise-wide benefits. We will weave in a tour of a Harvard Healthy Building to get a sense of what this looks like in practice, and we will have a hands-on demonstration of new sensor technologies and analytics that can be deployed across real estate portfolios. And, knowing the business maxim that what gets measured gets managed, we will show you how to move from measuring KPIs to measuring HPIs – Health Performance Indicators – to track progress toward healthy building strategies. Last, we cannot ignore the realities of a changing world, so we will discuss asset risk, ESG, and building resiliency in the age of a changing climate and rapid urbanization.

  • Define what a Healthy Building is and understand the basics of the scientific underpinnings of this movement.
  • Evaluate Healthy Building certification systems and consider the strengths and weaknesses of each approach.
  • Leverage advances in new sensor technologies, analytics, and approaches to optimize indoor environments for human health and performance.
  • Explore real estate asset risk and resiliency in the context of climate change and a renewed focus on corporate ESG.
  • Discover how Healthy Building strategies are put into practice with a tour of a Healthy Building on the Harvard campus and via hands-on demonstrations of new technologies and analytics.
  • Synthesize scientific information, certification system offerings, new technology, real estate trends, market forces, and environmental changes into a cohesive narrative and strategy for your business, real estate portfolio, and/or design strategies.

Real Estate Owners, Developers, and Investors; Executives in Finance, Human Resources, Facilities Management; Global Real Estate Portfolio Managers; Architects and Designers.


Headshot of Joseph Allen

Joseph Allen, DSc, MPH, CIH

Assistant Professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Guest Speakers

Headshot of Maureen Ehrenberg

Maureen Ehrenberg

Global Head of Facility Management Services, WeWork

Headshot of Heather Henriksen

Heather Henriksen

Managing Director, Harvard University Office for Sustainability

Headshot of Juliette Kayyem

Juliette Kayyem

Belfer Senior Lecturer in International Security, Harvard Kennedy School

Nils Kok

Chief Economist, GeoPhy
Associate Professor, Maastricht University

Headshot of John D. Macomber

John D. Macomber

Senior Lecturer of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Headshot of John Mandyck

John Mandyck

CEO, Urban Green Council

Headshot of Peter Miscovich

Peter Miscovich

Managing Director, Strategy + Innovation, JLL

Healthy Buildings

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