Research Preview: Review of Health Language in LEED

Matthew Trowbridge MD MPH
USGBC and University of Virginia Research Study Provides Closer Look at Representation of Health and Wellness within LEED

With grant funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the US Green Building Council and researchers from the University of Virginia School of Medicine (UVA) are conducting a systematic descriptive analysis of the representation of health and wellness within LEED 2009. This is one component of a recently launched ‘Green Health Partnership’ between the three organizations to encourage more intentional consideration of human-centered outcomes within the green building industry.


Over the last 20 years, the green building movement has demonstrated its ability to drive positive change at-scale in the design and operation of built environments. This has directly influenced thousands of homes, schools, and commercial buildings that save energy, reduce water use, and provide superior environmental conditions. There is now mounting market demand to apply these green building tools and strategies – including LEED – within real estate markets to more directly address human experience outcomes related to the built environment including public health and well-being. Before harnessing the market transformation power of the green building movement for public health promotion, an understanding of how health is currently addressed by these tools is needed. Outcomes of this study will include a snapshot of the current representation of health and wellness as design intents and operational outcomes across LEED 2009. Results will also be linked to the USGBC Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG) to allow users to identify LEED-certified projects based on the achievement of health-related green building credits in LEED 2009. Final results from the USGBC-UVA-RWJF review of health language within LEED 2009 will be available early next year. Today, we are releasing a “preview” of preliminary results and key findings. We hope to share our emerging understanding and spur conversation during Greenbuild. Download it here.

Matthew Trowbridge MD MPH
Matthew Trowbridge is a physician, public health researcher, and assistant professor at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Dr. Trowbridge’s academic research focuses on the impact of architecture, urban design, and transportation planning on a range of public health. Dr. Trowbridge is currently working with U.S. Green Building Council as part of a recently launched Green Health Partnership funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Related resources and references

Research Preview: Review of Health Language in LEED  Kelly Worden, Matthew Trowbridge MD MPH, and Chris Pyke PhD