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A health map for architecture: The determinants of health and wellbeing in buildings

Rice, Louis


Louis Rice
Associate Professor in Architecture



The health crisis facing society, whereby most humans suffer illness, is related to the design of the built environment. The chapter identifies key issues for built environment design professionals to improve the health of architectural environments. The chapter reviews existing medical and public health research to establish evidence-based interrelationships between health and architecture and to define ‘healthy architecture’. ‘Healthy architecture’ goes beyond the relatively narrow focus of physical health, safety regulations or environmental health legislation of much contemporary architectural research. The proposed conceptualisation of ‘healthy architecture’ requires consideration of social, mental and physical health, particularly wellbeing and restorative design. A conceptual framework is generated as a ‘healthy architecture map’ by considering the four principal domains of architectural design related health and wellbeing: materials, environments, agency and behaviours. The ‘healthy architecture map’ can be used by built environment experts, architects, planners, engineers, clients, user groups, public health professionals to inform and improve the design of the built environments to promote and facilitate health and wellbeing.


Rice, L. (2019). A health map for architecture: The determinants of health and wellbeing in buildings. In M. Jones, L. Rice, & F. Meraz (Eds.), Designing for Health and Wellbeing: Home, City, Society, 155-184. Vernon Press

Publication Date Dec 31, 2019
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 155-184
Book Title Designing for Health and Wellbeing: Home, City, Society
ISBN 9781622735129
Keywords health, healthy architecture, design systems, wellbeing, built environment
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