The Ekkist Healthy Homes Checklist is a comprehensive tool for assessing and addressing health and well-being interventions in residential developments. It reviews projects against over 120 scientifically-supported recommendations, to address some of the key health concerns of UK homeowners.

Service Description

At Ekkist, we believe that everybody has the right to a healthy home. To help make this a reality, we created a new industry tool – The Ekkist Healthy Homes Checklist.

This uses the latest scientific and empirical research to support the design of exemplary healthy places to live across all housing typologies, be they one-off homes, build-to-rent apartment buildings, co-living developments, or later life projects.

We created the Checklist in response to what was felt was a lack of residential-focused ‘best practice’ guidance. Current British minimum standards fall far short of ensuring optimal healthy homes, while most voluntary building Certifications are not focused entirely on health and well-being, or are not UK-specific – and come with additional fees and costs.

Given the rapid developments in building research and technology, it can be challenging to keep up to date with the latest best practice in this area. As Ekkist specialise entirely in healthy buildings, we are able to keep our Checklist and approach at the cutting edge of healthy design at all times, better supporting others in their ambitions of creating healthier homes.

The Checklist has been created by combining best practice guidance from a range of academic and empirical sources. During its development, we consulted with a range of experienced residential design specialists including architects, MEP engineers, acousticians and landscape designers, alongside developers, to ensure its recommendations remain practical and achievable.

While the Checklist is not a formal certification, it can be used by housing providers as a means of demonstrating that they have worked with healthy building experts, and that their homes are going above and beyond industry standards to target exceptional health and well-being outcomes. It can also be used as a stepping stone to healthy building certifications or to create robust, health-focussed ESG strategies and development briefs.

These approaches allow developers to create or identify USPs for their projects, helping them and their agents to more easily market and sell their homes through the ways in which they support the health of potential buyers and their families.

Using the checklist ensures that you are designing homes that truly support the physical and mental health of individuals, families and communities.

“It’s really important to us to ensure we continue building positive, healthy homes for our residents. We believe that the Healthy Homes Checklist will be a useful tool in helping us achieve this, which is why we’re trialling it across more than 1,000 apartments for rent at Wembley Park, using it to assess the health and well-being credentials of the newly launched Repton Gardens building as well as two further plots that are currently under construction. We believe that building healthy homes is vital to creating places to live that are fit for the future and we are pleased to be partnering with Ekkist to do so.”

Clare Masters, Quintain

Ekkist Healthy Homes Checklist

Building Ethos

The philosophy and approach to a project can be as important as any other aspect in creating healthy homes. This Category considers the wider social, societal and ethical issues in creating a healthy building and community.

Building Layout

The orientation, arrangement and layout of buildings can have a significant impact on the well-being of the people who use them. The Checklist considers important layout elements, supporting the design team with specific health-led, evidence-based recommendations.

Architectural Design

This section reviews key architectural design aspects which are shown to impact the occupant’s and community’s health and sense of well-being, supporting the architect and design team with decision-making.

Internal Layout

The layout of our homes is one of the most important elements in creating healthy, liveable places. Our homes should be flexible and adaptable, providing enough space to meet our daily needs and minimising stressors that can be avoided through design solutions.

Circulation Design

The design of circulation elements in our homes and residential buildings can vastly impact our experience of using them. The Checklist considers issues such as interactions within ‘in-between spaces’, which can improve usability and foster stronger communities.

Building Envelope

The building envelope not only protects us from the elements, but its design plays a key role in how comfortable our homes are. This review considers a broad range of design factors which can significantly impact both mental and physical health.

Amenity Provision

The healthiest residential buildings and neighbourhoods are rich in amenities, making it easy to live practical, interesting, social and sustainable lives. This Category reviews the provision of amenities to support occupant quality of life and well-being.

Landscape Design

Minimum outdoor space requirements for homes vary vastly and are often overlooked. High-quality external spaces strongly correlate with better well-being, and this section helps to maximise the impact of landscaping on community and individual health.

MEP Strategy

The MEP design of a building plays a vital role in terms of human health and comfort. Elements in this section of the checklist consider technical design in relation to health, comfort, toxicology and climate resilience.

Internal Detailing

While Building Regulations offer some minimum standards in terms of internal detailing, this often falls short of best practice in terms of health principals. This Category proposes enhancements to ensure higher quality homes that support people’s health and well-being.

Materials and Furniture

Many of the materials presently used in our homes can have a negative impact on indoor air quality and our overall health. The Checklist exceeds minimum regulations, championing healthier non-toxic building materials, interior products and furnishings.

Post Occupancy

While the design of homes has a fundamental impact on occupant health, how we hand over, explain and evaluate housing after construction is also important. It is vital that projects consider these issues to ensure a better and healthier experience for residents.

If you would like to find out more about the Healthy Homes Checklist, get in touch with us: