Healthy Buildings

Health and wellness in offices involves considering how the built elements of an office detract or contribute to human health, wellbeing and productivity, and working out what we can change so that we thrive in our offices.

We’ve separated healthy and wellness into four themes:

  • MIND: The personal and subjective qualities of the office including elements like office aesthetics, connection to nature, and employee satisfaction. In our key elements below we've included an example occupancy survey to help determine possible areas for improvement in an office.

  • BODY: Personal but objectively measurable elements relate to aspects such as human health, activity levels, absenteeism, and active transport use. Corporate health programs by health insurers have addressed this area for many years, but we are now gaining a better understanding of whether office layout and culture supports or inhibits individuals’ efforts to be healthier and happier.

  • CULTURE: The collective behaviours of an organisation highlights whether health and wellness ranks as a corporate value. Office policies, procedures, employee handbooks and even management style can reveal a lot about health and wellness in the office culture, as can public company value statements and marketing.

  • WORKPLACE: A collectively shared physical space includes the type of office plan; end of trip facilities; environmental monitoring; accreditations such as NABERS; the air, water, light and acoustics; ergonomics; and the relationship of health and wellness to energy efficiency. Lighting, acoustics and air quality have significant effects on people’s performance and wellbeing.

Our key elements and related resources below have been designed to help you consider how to make your building healthy and what you need to do in order to implement change.

Key elements

  • Healthy buildings overview

    A summary of the various dimensions that make up a healthy and productive workplace.


    Read more
  • CitySwitch Guide to Occupant Surveys

    For any health and wellness project, gathering qualitative data through an occupancy survey is a great place to start.


    Read more
  • Ten steps to improve staff engagement and health

    Not ready to tackle full accreditation but keen to improve staff engagement and health? Try these ten actions.


    Read more
  • The Fifth Estate ebook: healthy offices

    In collaboration with CitySwitch, The Fifth Estate has released a free ebook about healthy offices.


    Read more
  • Improving cognitive performance

    Indoor environmental quality has a major impact on our cognitive performance.


    Read more

Related resources

  • Toolkit: Fostering vertical communities

    This CitySwitch toolkit shows how to set up a vertical community in commercial building, where tenants work together on shared sustainability goals. The kit includes step-by-step advice, plus a template agreement between parties, meeting agendas and KPIs.


    Read more
  • Why choose a high-performing building

    An indicative estimate of the financial benefits of high-performing buildings, in terms of electricity saved, reduced absenteeism, retention and productivity.


    Read more
  • Introduction to vertical communities

    A vertical community is formed when a whole commercial building, with different tenants on different floors, work together to achieve common sustainability goals that improve the occupants’ overall experience of the building.


    Read more
  • Overview sustainable workplace behaviours

    Creating a corporate culture where staff feel empowered to take action is an essential part of any sustainability strategy. Engaging staff can take many forms. The term 'behaviour change' refers to all the workplace sustainability measures that rely on staff changing their habits, from switching off to recycling right.


    Read more
  • Green procurement policy

    Procurement policy and guideline documents set out the shared understanding of an organisation's approach to procurement.


    Read more
  • Workplace policy for sustainability

    A policy is the written embodiment of a company’s values. Sustainability considerations can and should be embedded to day-to-day operations.


    Read more
  • Green procurement overview

    Interrogating your procurement practices can save money, improve employee wellbeing, and improve environmental credentials.


    Read more

Case studies

  • Healthy buildings overview

    A summary of the various dimensions that make up a healthy and productive workplace.


    Read more
  • CitySwitch Guide to Occupant Surveys

    For any health and wellness project, gathering qualitative data through an occupancy survey is a great place to start.


    Read more
  • Ten steps to improve staff engagement and health

    Not ready to tackle full accreditation but keen to improve staff engagement and health? Try these ten actions.


    Read more
  • The Fifth Estate ebook: healthy offices

    In collaboration with CitySwitch, The Fifth Estate has released a free ebook about healthy offices.


    Read more
  • Improving cognitive performance

    Indoor environmental quality has a major impact on our cognitive performance.


    Read more

Search resources

CitySwitch Signatory of the Year and New Signatory Awards - category judging criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 28 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 10 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 10 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points).
Note, new Signatories submitting for New Signatory of the Year Award need only complete an indicative rating – all other submissions must be accredited.

CitySwitch Partnership of the Year Award - category judging criteria

Eligibility Criteria

Submitted projects should:

  • Involve more than one registered company 
  • Demonstrate that they are  innovative and over and above “business as usual”
  • Demonstrate that they catalyse “market transformation” and or “address a market barrier”
  • Deliver a reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions within the built environment 

Judging Criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 14 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 17 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 17 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points)
  • The submitting entity MUST be a CitySwitch Signatory
Note, Signatories submitting for the Partnership of the Year Award may submit an accredited NABERS tenancy, whole building or base building rating.

It’s easy and free to join the program. Your good-will commitment to the program is an acknowledgement of the business sector’s role in
contributing to environmental sustainability and your intention to reduce your own energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.

As part of this, Signatories to the program commit to achieve an accredited NABERS Energy tenancy rating (between 4 and 6 stars) and
work with CitySwitch to improve their tenancy’s environmental performance.

Find out more about how obtaining a NABERS Energy rating ensures you can benchmark your performance, better manage your progress
over time and promote your star rating achievement.