Buildings are rated by energy efficiency, among other things, but a group of architects is pushing for another rating: how well workers were treated during the construction of a building.
At the Venice Biennale architecture exhibition, architects Dominika Janicka, Martyna Janicka, and Michal Gdak interviewed "multiple builders about challenges from workplace safety to job security," according to Fast Company's Adele Peters.
The architects found that construction safety issues are worse in undeveloped nations, but the U.S. has issues as well.
In the U.S., though labor laws protect construction workers, it's also common for undocumented migrants to face challenges—working in dangerous conditions, working without overtime pay, or, in some cases, missing paychecks completely—and not saying anything because they fear deportation.
As solution, Peters suggests a "fair trade" label for buildings.
Though the Fair Trade label was created for low-income countries, there's no reason why something similar couldn't apply to construction—and with multiple certifications for "green" buildings, from LEED to the Living Building Challenge, it isn't clear why there isn't something like it for workers' rights.