The case for making green building improvements

The case for making green building improvements

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A new report from the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) highlights tangible economic benefits of green building and showcases improved occupant satisfaction when companies implement new health, well-being and productivity features in existing green structures. 

Doing Right by Planet and People: The Business Case for Health and Wellbeing in Green Building examined case studies of 11 facilities worldwide that have one or more green certifications, including LEED, Green Star and BREEAM. 

The report evaluates health and well-being features that were integrated into the facilities, such as enhanced fresh air ventilation, acoustic privacy, increase of daylight penetration and use of biophilic design elements, such as green walls and extensive indoor plants.

After adding health and wellbeing features into green-certified buildings, companies found that:

  • Employee absenteeism was reduced
  • Operating costs were minimized
  • Employees felt more productive and healthier.

“This report should send a clear signal to companies with employees as well as building owners and managers to make green building investments a priority,” said Terri Wills, CEO of the World Green Building Council. “It’s obvious that making energy efficiency improvements will reduce operating costs, but arguably an even greater impact of green improvements are those felt by the people who spend their working lives in these spaces. Greener workspaces are healthier, more enjoyable places to work, and this has a tangible impact on productivity, employee health and the business bottom line.”

Key case study results include:

  • The Akron Children’s Hospital project by HKS in Ohio achieved more than $900,000 in annual energy savings, and family satisfaction with the space increased 67 percent.
  • Cundall’s UK office’s absenteeism dropped by more than four days per person per year, a 58 percent reduction. Staff turnover reduced by 27 percent. Taken together, these two outcomes provided nearly $280,000 savings per year.
  • Sherwin-William’s Centro-America headquarters in El Salvador saw a 68 percent reduction in reported respiratory problems and a 64 percent reduction in reported allergy problems. Additionally, since moving to the new building, absenteeism reduced by 44 percent. Sherwin-Williams has calculated a total annual saving of $85,000 per year.
  • Henderson Land Development in Hong Kong has created a highly desirable mixed-use community and is realizing 40 percent higher property values compared to nearby equivalent properties.

The full report is available online.


Topics: Architectural Firms, Building Owners and Managers, Construction Firms, Environmental Firms, Great Commercial Buildings, Green Roofs / Garden Roofs, Office Buildings, Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Trends and Statistics, Urban Planning and Design, Ventilation, Wall Systems / Curtain Walls

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