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Green Blog

Study Finds Employees of Green Buildings Are More Productive

By FAF Staff Writer, (253 words) Posted in Green Building on October 26, 2009
There are (58) comments permalink

The results of a recent study suggest that green buildings are more conducive to increased worker productivity when compared with non–green buildings. In the study, the definition of "green building" was those buildings with any level of a LEED certification or had earned the Energy Star label. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of San Diego's Burnham–Moores Center for Real Estate and CB Richard Ellis.

The study was the largest of its kind conducted so far, surpassing an earlier survey in 2003 which studied productivity levels in just 33 buildings. In the recent exercise 154 green buildings nationwide were assessed by David Pogue, national director of sustainability at CBRE and researcher Norm Miller, Ph.D. academic director at the Burnham–Moores Center. The buildings were tenanted by over 2000 employees of whom 534 participated in the study.

An average of 2.88 fewer sick days was reported by forty-five percent of respondents working out of the new, green office locations as compared with their earlier non–green premises. While another forty–five percent noted no perceptible change, ten percent reported an increase in sick days. These however were residents of Energy Star labeled buildings. There is no call for air quality requirements in Energy Star buildings unlike that of LEED certified buildings.

The authors have calculated that the increase in productivity equates to $20.82 per employee based on two parameters: an index of average salary and office space of 250 square feet per worker. They further conclude that increased rental for such space is more than justified and offset by the less obvious benefits of employee retention and recruitment.

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