Healthier buildings mean healthier living

Sonja Trierweiler

Vadivel Thangamuthu has struggled with dust allergies since a very young age. Growing up in Erode, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, air pollution was a big issue — even then in the 1980s, he explains in his story for Living Standard. But in 2011 after moving to the United States, Vadivel experienced what it was like to have regular access to cleaner air. He no longer needed to seek medication for his condition.

Upon returning to Erode, Vadivel was concerned about having to breathe polluted air again. But after he started working with SIERRA, he gradually started feeling better. Because of the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability initiatives, particularly through LEED green building and measurement through the Arc performance platform, he learned how green building positively impacts the health and wellbeing of a building’s occupants.

Once he started working at SIERRA, he could breathe more deeply than ever before. In his story, he explains, “I feel like now I have different lungs, heart, and body to what I had before…We owe it to the future generations to give them clean, breathable air.”

And in a post-pandemic world, buildings are part of the solution and are connected to both how we spread the COVID-19 virus and collectively fight the virus. This is our opportunity to design a more resilient, healthier future.

This story originally appears at Living Standard. Living Standard is the U.S. Green Building Council’s campaign to support its inclusive and resilient vision that healthy people in healthy places equals a healthy economy. An initiative created for sharing personal experiences, best practices, and the benefits of building green, Living Standard seeks to create awareness and adoption of healthier spaces, and to champion a better quality of life for people around the world. Share your story today at



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