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New report reveals green building makes business sense

The World Green Building Council has launched a new report highlighting tangible economic benefits of green building and showcasing improved occupant satisfaction when companies implement new health, wellbeing and productivity features in existing green structures.

Doing Right by Planet and People: The Business Case for Health and Wellbeing in Green Building examines case studies of 11 facilities around the globe that have one or more green certifications including LEED, Green Star and BREEAM. The report evaluates health and wellbeing 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 minimised, and employees felt more productive and healthier.

Terri Wills, CEO of the World Green Building Council, said: “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. 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 over US$900,000 in annual energy savings, and family satisfaction with the space increased by 67 per cent.
  • Cundall’s UK office’s absenteeism dropped by more than four days per person per year, a 58 per cent reduction. Staff turnover reduced by 27 per cent. Taken together, these two outcomes provided a £200,000 saving per year.
  • Sherwin-William’s Centro-America headquarters in El Salvador saw a 68 per cent reduction in reported respiratory problems and a 64 per cent reduction in reported allergy problems. Additionally, since moving to the new building, absenteeism reduced by 44 per cent. Sherwin-Williams has calculated a total annual saving of US$85,000 per year.
  • Plantronics’ office in The Netherlands saved the developer €624,000 in financing costs when the client elected to purchase the building. Increased employee productivity to Plantronics has been estimated at €2.1 million per year.
  • American Society of Interior Designers’ new HQ in Washington D.C. saw an increase in employee productivity and reduction of absenteeism, which is expected to pay for its investment within the first five years.
  • Henderson Land Development in Hong Kong has created a highly desirable mixed-use community and is realising 40 per cent higher property values compared to nearby equivalent properties.

The report was sponsored by the global filtration specialists, Mann+Hummel, design and manufacturing group, Saint-Gobain, real estate investment trust company, Landsec, and real estate developers, Delta Development Group.

 

 

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About Sarah OBeirne

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