Health, wellbeing and productivity in offices – next chapter of Green Building

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It has long been considered the ultimate yet seemingly out of reach test of the business case for green building: if the human benefits of green building could be reliably quantified this would prove beyond all doubt the ROI for investing in building green. After all, staff costs, including salaries and benefits, typically account for about 90% of business operating costs. Therefore what may appear a modest improvement in employee health or productivity, can have a huge financial implication for employers – one that is many times larger than any other financial savings associated with an efficiently designed and operated building.

There is overwhelming evidence which demonstrates that the design of an office impacts the health, wellbeing and productivity of its occupants. A report released by the World Green Building Council finds that a range of factors – which includes: indoor air quality, thermal comfort, daylighting & lighting, biophilia, noise, interior layout, look & feel, active design & exercise, amenities & location – can affect the health, satisfaction and job performance of office workers.

It is drawn from the findings and analysis included in the report that several factors driving green building – conducive to healthy, productive occupiers – are quite simple:

  1. Good design (such as passive solutions, shading, and natural ventilation
    where possible).
  2. Good construction (new technologies, innovation, smart controls).
  3. Good behaviour (appropriate clothing, adaptability and engagement
    with systems).
  4. Good location (enabling low carbon commuting and easy access to
    services and amenities).

In any case, the report findings undeniably affirm that buildings can maximise benefits for people, and leave the planet better off as well. Low carbon, resource efficient, healthy and productive – fundamentally, this is about higher quality buildings.

 

Source: the World Green Building Council

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