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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…
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.
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.
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.
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.