Civilizational challenges have questioned the status quo of energy and material consumption by humans. From the built environment perspective, a response to these challenges was the creation of green buildings. Although the revolutionary capacity of the green building movement has elevated the expectations of new commercial construction, its rate of implementation has secluded the majority of the population from its benefits. Beyond reductions in energy usage and increases in market value, the main strength of green buildings may be the procurement of healthier building environments. Further pursuing the right to healthy indoor environments could help the green building movement to attain its full potential as a transformational public health tool. On the basis of 40 years of research on indoor environmental quality, we present a summary of nine environment elements that are foundational to human health. We posit the role of green buildings as a critical research platform within a novel sustainability framework based on social-environmental capital assets.


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