81st Annual Meeting: June 21-24, 2013 in Las Vegas

WELLNESS IN REAL ESTATE

WHEREAS, improving the health and wellness of residents of the United States is a top priority of elected leaders on local, state and federal levels; and

WHEREAS, the healthcare system is primarily focused on curing illness and treating symptoms, as opposed to preventing illness and increasing wellness; and

WHEREAS, without a shift to more prevention-based health care measures, the cost of American health care is estimated to grow to $4.2 trillion in 2019, up from $2.6 trillion in 2010 (1); and

WHEREAS, with increased rates of obesity and other preventable chronic diseases derived from poor nutrition and inadequate exercise, children born today are at risk for having a shorter life expectancy than their parents for the first time in the history of the United States (2); and

WHEREAS, Americans typically spend more than 23 hours a day indoors (3); and

WHEREAS, many building materials contain formaldehyde and other toxic VOCs, leading to levels of pollutants inside that are often 2 to 5 times higher than outdoors (3); and

WHEREAS, cities across the country recognize the importance of clean air and water; and

WHEREAS, many people suffer from impaired sleep, altered mood, diminished alertness, and reduced rate of learning as a result of insufficient light indoors during the day and excessive light at night; and

WHEREAS, many people suffer from allergies, asthma and other upper respiratory challenges due to poor indoor air quality, mold, and dust from poor cleaning practices and improper ventilation; and

WHEREAS, people around the country are rapidly trying to respond to these growing health concerns by practicing different forms of preventative medicine, making the wellness industry one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the federal government has developed a Strategy for Action for Advancing Healthy Housing that encourages federal agencies to take preemptive actions that will help reduce the number of American homes with health and safety hazards.This cross agency effort led by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Surgeon Generalís Office, The Department of Energy and other agencies, represents a bold new vision for addressing the nationís health and economic burdens caused by preventable hazards associated with the home (4); and

WHEREAS, The United States Conference of Mayors has been a leader in promoting healthy living through the Mayorís Healthy Cities Campaign,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors encourages buildings to use a combination of criteria and features that will enhance the well-being of occupants and address growing preventable health concerns and costs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, The United States Conference of Mayors encourages buildings to follow the WELL Building Standard or any other similar standard that uses a multidisciplinary guide for the design, construction, and management of buildings of all types. This Standard is the culmination of the latest in evidence-based design and leading-edge approaches that has emerged from a unique collaboration between world-class medical research institutions, the real estate sector, and the architecture industry. It will address the interior living environment through healthy materials and building technologies and encourage healthy behaviors. Some of the Standardís intentions are to:

    • Remove harmful contaminants from the air and water and from surfaces where food is prepared; and

    • Prevent and combat mold, microbes, and viruses that can propagate in water supplies, ductworks, and interior building surfaces; and

    • Promote best practices for ventilation, air quality, humidity and thermal comfort; and

    • Reinforce the bodyís natural daily rhythm, thereby improving sleep, bolstering immune function, and increasing energy levels; and

    • Provide protection against noise pollution and other factors that can produce stress in the body; and

    • Deliver education to encourage healthy eating and promote physical activity.

Projected Cost: Unknown


RESOLUTION ADOPTED JUNE 2013