Healthy Building Starts With Rethinking Building Operations

We all want to be healthy. We know that giving our body nutritious meals and making an effort to be active each day will help us to feel physically and mentally better — to be healthier. 

Buildings are no different. Over the last year there has been a renewed interest in healthy buildings. Achieving this building health also requires daily attention to how we manage and operate facilities. 


Healthy buildings is a relatively new area of interest for facilities management. It refers to the physical, psychological, and social health and well-being of occupants, visitors, and staff in buildings and the built environment.

In essence, healthy buildings are built environments that keep people safe, healthy, and happy. Despite all the benefits of being outside, humans have spent thousands of years making inside better. We are finally starting to measure and think about if that inside time is healthy for us. 

The idea of healthy buildings has come into focus  as the world has combated the COVID-19 pandemic. Air quality, filters, and air flow in common areas have become high priorities for facility teams as occupants and tenants began asking tough questions. These demands are not changing. Even as we emerge from pandemic times, the spotlight will continue to be on healthy buildings. Residents want it. Tenants are adding it to their requirements. And facility teams need to be prepared to answer the call. 


If achieving healthy buildings were easy, we wouldn’t even need to write this blog. But many of these common challenges facility teams face on a daily basis are also blockers to healthy buildings:

  • Deferred Maintenance – Building operators almost never get the budget they need to do everything in their facilities, leading to a backlog that grows substantially every year. 
  • Reactive Maintenance Cycle – For most teams, even with a preventive maintenance program in place they still find themselves in a very reactive state. 
  • Outdated Building Data – Building operators often have to make decisions with incomplete, siloed, or non-existent data which leads to poor decision making compounding other challenges.
  • Aging Buildings – Older buildings require more maintenance, but without the budgets to support them it adds to the deferred maintenance and reactive cycle. 

All of these challenges impact building health. When facilities are properly funded, are on a preventive maintenance program, and have accurate data, teams can conduct better maintenance, which creates healthier and safer spaces. 


Achieving healthier buildings doesn’t take a herculean effort. At its most basic level, achieving healthy buildings requires you to honestly evaluate your buildings and assets, put a plan in place, measure success, communicate with occupants, and reassess.

Even small changes can go a long way. Cleaning air ducts regularly, completing filter changes on time, conducting regular roof inspections, and upgrading light bulbs are all things your teams can start doing today. Having a facility management system in place to track preventive maintenance tasks and inspections is vital to keeping teams focused on what matters most.

Focusing on healthy buildings can help you meet green initiatives at the same time. As you upgrade your old assets, optimize operation schedules, and redesign facility space, you won’t just be delivering a healthier space for residents , you’ll also be improving NOI and reducing energy costs. 

Healthy Buildings Start with You 

From boiler room to boardroom, everyone plays a role in delivering healthy buildings for occupants. Interested in learning more about healthy buildings? Consult with one of our team and learn how facility management software can help you achieve your goals.


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