New research from The Center for Active Design and QuadReal Property Group revealed that healthier buildings command higher tenant satisfaction, and subsequently, higher property value. The report, titled “Health Drives Value in Real Estate,” examined the correlation between prioritizing tenant health and financial satisfaction for property owners and landlords. Whether a building was categorized as commercial or residential, the study found that improving the health of a given building is “inarguably a good thing.”
Using the metrics of the green building certification system Fitwel, which The Center for Active Design runs, the study discovered a direct link between a higher Fitwel score and inhabitants’ desire to promote the building to their friends and colleagues. Even when the health-promoting strategies of a given building weren’t publicized, they were still associated with positive occupant perceptions.
The findings of the study indicate a strong mandate for increased investment in occupant health. Buildings with clean air, lots of natural sunlight, access to outdoor amenities, access to healthy food options, and other healthy aspects of the building will reap a higher ROI than a comparable building without these features. The study also found evidence that healthy buildings located within walking distance of public transportation commands higher rents. The capital expenditures needed for healthy building upgrades have always been a hurdle for property owners but if more evidence like this comes out that healthy building amenities can increase rents then more health related investment is likely.