Health-friendly design features of current Korean housing

Miseon Jang, Yeunsook Lee

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


With higher standards of living made affordable by increasing income, a growing number of people are looking to health and wellbeing. An integral part of this health-conscious lifestyle is housing, but as the most common form of housing in Korea, mass-produced apartments have long been criticized for prioritizing economic efficiency to mass produce living space while disregarding the need for a health-friendly environment. In response to these concerns, construction companies have recently undergone a paradigm shift toward developing more health-friendly apartments. The intention of this study is to first identify the current status of health-friendly elements applied in the building industry, particularly in recently constructed apartment construction, for the purpose of analyzing the present state and creating a foundation for prescribing a future plan. To that end, the study was done of fifteen different apartment buildings in the Seoul Metropolitan area. Constructed by one of the five major construction companies of Korea,1) all the apartments in this study were completed after 2007. Results reflected a relatively high number of elements promoting physical health over mental and social health. The study also revealed that promotion of physical health was mostly approached through artificial, technological means rather than by natural methods. General items related to physical health generally included integrated systems to assure general indoor comfort through temperature, lighting, and ventilation control. Food-waste dehydrators, bidets (washlets), and hands-free phone home appliances were also common. Aspects related to mental health mainly included security systems that gave the residents an added sense of safety through providing for their physical safety, and greater window areas and floor-height to achieve a visually open "breathing space." Countertop kitchens and video-conferencing made available between tenants also encouraged closer relationships within the family and between tenants, as a means of promoting social health. Henceforth, all aspects of housing can be and will be expected to bring positive health effects, and should be interpreted as such. From convenient appliances to a building's overall layout and plan, there is a need for greater participation and diversification in people-friendly housing.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event9th International Healthy Buildings Conference and Exhibition, HB 2009 - Syracuse, NY, United States
Duration: 2009 Sept 132009 Sept 17


Other9th International Healthy Buildings Conference and Exhibition, HB 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySyracuse, NY

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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