Skip to main content
TM40 Health and wellbeing in building services (2020)
Back To All Knowledge Items

TM40 Health and wellbeing in building services (2020)

Standard Rate
£100.00  +VAT
Member Rate
Standard Rate
£100.00  +VAT
Member Rate
£50.00  +VAT

There has been increased interest in TM40 since the coronavirus outbreak began, so we have created to following guidance note to clarify what TM40 can help with and what it cannot. Many thanks to author Julie Godefroy, Marcella Ucci of University College London and Sani Dimitroulopoulou of Public Health England for their input on this note.

TM40 and the coronavirus: Information note (March 2020)

A one-hour webinar on the scope of TM40, featuring author Julie Godefroy, was held in November 2019. You can watch it here:

TM40 Webinar (November 2019)

TM40 Webinar FAQs

This executive summary introduces the content and format of TM40:

TM40 Executive Summary (October 2019)

The scope of ‘health and wellbeing’ is extremely broad, ranging from acute health impacts, through comfort and performance, to ‘joy and happiness’. This TM mostly covers the 'middle ground’, i.e. best practice design and operation of buildings which can support health, comfort and cognitive performance. Key areas of influence for built environment designers are covered: the quality of the air we breathe and of the water we drink and are in contact with, and the environment around us: light, acoustics, thermal and humidity conditions, and electromagnetic fields. A range of sectors are covered, including new-build non-domestic environments but also homes, refurbishments, and some considerations of neighbourhood and site planning.

For each of these environmental factors, a summary is provided of their health and comfort effects. While a thorough understanding of medical conditions is clearly not within the expertise of engineers (or designers in general), this document aims to provide an overview as background for informed decisions. This leads to recommended performance criteria (e.g. pollutant levels, daylight levels), which may be used as targets in new designs or to reference the performance of existing buildings. Where regulations are lacking, notably on indoor air quality, professionals are advised to refer to internationally recognised health-based guidelines, particularly those from the World Health Organisation. To increase occupant comfort and satisfaction, users should also be provided with a level of choice and control over their environment.

A summary of guidance on design, construction and facilities management is then provided. There are significant opportunities for built-environment professionals to make a positive impact through design approaches that achieve both environmental and health and wellbeing performance, for example in the integration of green infrastructure, the planning of our neighbourhoods, and early building layout decisions for daylighting, ventilation, and acoustic conditions.

The guidance follows the precautionary principle and source control first as pillars of public health. As for all aspects of building performance, an integrated design approach is required to respond to the user’s needs and balance various constraints and objectives to deliver buildings that are energyefficient, easy to operate, and provide a healthy, comfortable environment with a level of adaptability and resilience.

This TM is very much aiming for performance in use, not design guidance alone. The benefits of carrying out post-occupancy evaluation and regular monitoring have been established for years, and building performance is expected to be of growing importance due to growing awareness of clients, regulators and the wider public, and the increasing availability of building data to all. Guidance on operations and monitoring is provided to allow building performance assessments, gather lessons learnt, and help us communicate with clients and building occupants; wherever possible, the case studies are based on in-use data.

Knowledge and products are rapidly evolving. This TM highlights ‘emerging themes’, which are not sections of actual established guidance, but areas still under debate, research, and development, where professionals should follow updates in knowledge, solutions, and products. These are also areas of opportunities for innovation, collaboration with academia, and added value to projects.


1 Introduction

1.1 Important exclusions: health and safety

1.2 Healthcare environments

2 How to use this TM

3 Context and overview of health and wellbeing

3.1 Defining health and wellbeing

3.2 The determinants of health

3.3 Health inequalities

3.4 Prevention and public health

3.5 The influence of the built environment on health and wellbeing

3.6 The influence of the built environment on user satisfaction and cognitive performance

3.7 The influence of building services engineers and the need for collaboration

3.8 Regulatory drivers 

3.9 Market drivers and voluntary schemes

3.10 Emerging themes

4 Design and construction for health and wellbeing: overall principles

4.1 Overarching principles

4.2 Procurement and project brief

4.3 Setting performance objectives

4.4 Site assessments

4.5 City planning and masterplanning

4.6 Site and building layout

4.7 Modelling

4.8 Control and monitoring strategy

4.9 Construction

4.10 As-built checks

4.11 Commissioning and handover

4.12 Initial aftercare

4.13 Post-occupancy evaluation (POE)

4.14 Emerging themes

5 The operational stage: facilities management

5.1 Context

5.2 Regulatory framework

5.3 Procuring FM services

5.4 Maintenance

5.5 Monitoring operational performance

5.6 Emerging themes

6 The space between buildings

6.1 Site layout and city planning

6.2 Outdoor areas

6.3 Vegetation

6.4 Emerging themes

7 Thermal conditions

7.1 Health and wellbeing context

7.2 Regulatory framework

7.3 Performance criteria

7.4 Guidance and recommendations

7.5 Emerging themes

8 Humidity

8.1 Health and wellbeing context

8.2 Regulatory framework

8.3 Performance criteria

8.4 Guidance and recommendations

8.5 Emerging themes

9 Air quality

9.1 Health and wellbeing context

9.2 Regulatory framework

9.3 Performance criteria

9.4 Guidance and recommendations

9.5 Emerging themes

10 Light and lighting

10.1 Health and wellbeing context

10.2 Regulatory framework

10.3 Performance criteria

10.4 Guidance and recommendations

10.5 Emerging themes

11 The acoustic environment

11.1 Health and wellbeing context

11.2 Regulatory framework

11.3 Performance criteria

11.4 Guidance and recommendations

11.5 Emerging themes

12 Electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields

12.1 Health and wellbeing context

12.2 Regulatory framework

12.3 Performance criteria 

12.4 Guidance and recommendations

12.5 Emerging themes

13 Water quality and availability

13.1 Health and wellbeing context

13.2 Regulatory framework

13.3 Performance criteria

13.4 Guidance and recommendations

13.5 Emerging themes

Annex A: Definitions

Annex B: Abbreviations

Annex C: Calibration glossary of terms

Annex D: Health effects

D1 International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classification of substances/ situations 

D2 Air pollutants

D3 Light as radiation

D4 Electromagnetic fields

D5 Water pollutants

Annex E: Key noise criteria 

Principal author: Julie Godefroy

Steering Committee: Sani Dimitroulopoulou (Public Health England), Alan Fogarty (Cundall), Keith Miller (GIA), Marcella Ucci (UCL), Sara Kassam (CIBSE), Anastasia Mylona (CIBSE)

Content contributors: Anthony Chilton (Max Fordham), Derek Clements-Croome, Jane Bradley (Public Health England), Tim Forman (University of Cambridge), Jo Harris (Eli Lily and CIBSE Maintenance Task Group), Jack Harvie-Clark (Apex Acoustics), Axel Jacobs (GIA), Tulin Kori (GIA), Simon Mann (Public Health England and ICNIRP working group), Neil McColl (Public Health England), Luke Price (Public Health England), Ruth Shilston (RWDI), Chris Twinn (Twinn Sustainability Innovation), Edwin Wealend (Cundall)

Peer reviewers: Mel Allwood (ARUP), Alexandra Thompson (National Research Council Canada), Simon Wyatt (Cundall), Nicholas Bukorovic (chapter 10), Jassim Daureeawo (chapter 13)

Additional acknowledgements: Anne Marie Aguilar (IWBI), Nicola Bagshawe (Hoare Lea), Craig Booth (Ductwork Cleaning), Jon Bootland (PassivHaus Trust), Elisa Bruno (Arup), Matthew Cand (Hoare Lea), Laurence Carmichael (UWE/ WHO), Pete Carvell and Mohammed Tabatabae (d:for), Lynne Ceeney (BSRIA), Dave Cheshire (AECOM), Peter Dyment and Chris Ecob (Camfil), Benjamin Fenech (Public Health England), Akimasa Hirata (ICNIRP), Roger Hitchin, Sue James (TDAG), Chris Jones, Richard Lorch, Rob McKenzie (University of Birmingham), Fergus Nicol, Ivan Perre, Christel Pesme (M+, Hong Kong), Emilia Plotka (RIBA), Marine Sanchez, Will South (Etude), Jane Wernick, Dane Virk and Matt Bearde (Atkins), James Warne (Boom), Ben Warren (Wood Group), Drinking Water Inspectorate 

Share this page