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Publication date: 25 December 2020

Terri Peters and Anna Halleran

The COVID-19 global health crisis is undeniably a global housing crisis. Our study focuses on quality of life in urban mid- and high-rise apartment housing, the fastest…

Abstract

Purpose

The COVID-19 global health crisis is undeniably a global housing crisis. Our study focuses on quality of life in urban mid- and high-rise apartment housing, the fastest growing housing types in many cities around the world. This housing typology presents unique challenges relating to connection to nature, daylight and fresh air.

Design/methodology/approach

This multi-disciplinary literature review analyzes more than 100 published papers from peer-reviewed sources from environmental psychology, building science and architecture relevant to quality of life in high-rise housing, as well as more than 40 recent newspaper and magazine articles about the possible impacts of COVID-19 on housing. We identify synergies between passive design strategies and health-promoting architecture or “restorative environmental design” principles.

Findings

Post-pandemic, health-promoting apartment housing design must prioritize (1) window placement and views that support stress recovery and restoration; (2) lighting levels based on spaces that can satisfy multiple uses and users; (3) bedrooms designed for restful sleep that contribute to circadian regulation; (4) living rooms with better indoor air quality, with a focus on natural ventilation; (5) access to nature, through the purposeful design of balconies and (6) unit sizes and layouts that enable physical distancing and prevent crowding.

Originality/value

We identify new social and environmental design priorities in the form of evidence-based design principles to inform and promote healthy and restorative living environments for residents in apartment housing.

Details

Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2631-6862

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