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Make the Smart Investment in a Healthier School Building and See Increase in Mental Wellness

by Teddi Strassburger on June 12, 2023

This blog post from Superior Essex explores the impacts that building materials can have on those who use a building - like a school, for example. Investing in well-designed buildings can increase mental wellness for all who use your building. Read on! 

GettyImages-1047616816Though we may have lived in the wild for thousands of years prior, most modern humans spend approximately 90% of their lives inside today. Every day, 25% of Americans attend school as teachers, students, staff, or administrators. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that half of this population is exposed to polluted indoor air, chemical fumes, asbestos, mold, and other toxins.

So, whether at home, school, the office, or any other building, walls constantly surround us, and everything they contain – perhaps, even, hide – can impact our health, active learning, and childhood development. Therefore, knowing what's behind your building walls is essential.

Creating a Well-Designed Building

As architects, building designers, materials specifiers, and manufacturers, there's something we can do about this that will benefit us all. Learning and academic performance are closely tied to the built environment, and sustainable design is a way for schools to provide hands-on learning experiences.

The WELL Building Standard is a vehicle for buildings and organizations to deliver more thoughtful and intentional spaces that enhance human health and well-being. Backed by the latest scientific research, WELL includes strategies to advance health by setting performance standards for design interventions, operational protocols and policies, and a commitment to fostering a culture of health and wellness.

The WELL standard focuses on ten primary areas of building design that can impact human health and happiness:

  • Air
  • Water
  • Nourishment
  • Light
  • Movement
  • Thermal Comfort
  • Sound
  • Materials
  • Mind
  • Community

Though these disparate building systems may seem unrelated at first glance, one element connects most, if not all, of them – cable. Modern communications cabling, such as the PowerWise® family of Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) solutions from Superior Essex Communications, can connect and interconnect many of the control devices and sensors that make these technologies possible throughout the buildings of today and tomorrow.

PoE can connect and power everything from security cameras and access control to HVAC systems and overhead lighting to create a healthy mental and physical environment. And by paying attention to these ten environmental factors of your building – and monitoring and adjusting them to the needs and benefits of your occupants – you can create a smart, healthy, sustainable building that delivers an increase in overall perceived mental health, upwards of 10%.

As Maslow has taught us, wellness is paramount for each of us, unlocking our highest-performing selves and fostering a thriving culture. But it all starts with meeting our basic human needs of comfort and safety in a building setting.

And although sustainability may sometimes come with a higher upfront cost, the return is well worth the initial capital investment. Because, in turn, the world is rewarded with teachers' loyalty, improved student performance, and increased test scores. And like any good investment, the fruits that grow from it are steady, long-lasting, well, and sustainable.

Learn more by contacting your local Accu-Tech representative, or check out the Superior Essex page on our website

Topics: Superior Essex Education sustainability spsx mental health

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