Housing Stakeholder Preferences for the "Soft" Features of Sustainable and Healthy Housing Design in the UK

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Jan 7;13(1):111. doi: 10.3390/ijerph13010111.


It is widely recognised that the quantity and sustainability of new homes in the UK need to increase. However, it is important that sustainable housing is regarded holistically, and not merely in environmental terms, and incorporates elements that enhance the quality of life, health and well-being of its users. This paper focuses on the "soft" features of sustainable housing, that is, the non-technological components of sustainable housing and neighbourhood design that can impact occupants' health and well-being. Aims of the study are to ascertain the relative level of importance that key housing stakeholders attach to these features and to investigate whether the opinions of housing users and housing providers are aligned with regards to their importance. An online survey was carried out to gauge the level of importance that the key stakeholders, such as housing users, local authorities, housing associations, and developers (n = 235), attach to these features. Results revealed that while suitable indoor space was the feature regarded as most important by all stakeholders, there were also a number of disparities in opinion between housing users and housing providers (and among the different types of providers). This implies a scope for initiatives to achieve a better alignment between housing users and providers.

Keywords: health and well-being; housing stakeholder; preference survey; quality of life; soft feature; sustainable housing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Conservation of Natural Resources / methods*
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Environment Design*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom