Energy Management and Lighting, Green Building, Sustainability/Business Continuity

How Green Buildings Promote Health and Performance

To make buildings more comfortable, functional, and efficient, facility management professionals should consider how people think and feel. Research shows that investing in green buildings not only helps the environment but also has a positive impact on our psychology. From improving decision-making ability to minimizing depression, green buildings enhance your organization and contribute to your bottom line.

Roof garden terrace with brise soleil sun breakers on modern office building facade, heat protection, global warming, sustainable living concept

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In the push toward more sustainable buildings and facilities, it is easy to point to the benefits of green construction for the bottom line. Those that invest in green initiatives like LED lighting, water and power conservation, and energy-efficient windows have been proven to see an almost 20 percent return on investment over time. These tangible construction elements make it a clear case for facility management professionals to invest in green solutions when developing a new building or improving facility operations.

But what about the intangibles that come with creating a greener building? Studies show that green buildings are not only better for the environment and organizational costs, but also provide health benefits for inhabitants.

BigRentz recently put together an infographic that digs deeper into the psychological and physiological impact of living and working in a green building. If you are managing a green-compliant building, these are elements to pitch to executives and investors as ways to ensure the comfort and health of your organization. Or, if you are a facility owner considering renovating a current property, these statistics will help propose green solutions and attract new tenants and clients.

Here are some of the major benefits of green buildings and how they can affect the way occupants think and feel:

Productivity

Those working in green buildings tend to be more productive, with an enhanced ability to make better choices and achieve their goals more swiftly. Studies show that they are better at completing tasks, demonstrating an almost 40 percent jump in their ability to focus.

Occupant Morale

An improved building atmosphere can go as far as strengthening the team spirit of those that work there. In one case, better air quality and the addition of greenery made workers over 60 percent more likely to bring visitors. That translates to more clients and more productive meetings among people in your organization. In addition, employees that were evaluated in a study by WGBC were seen to be almost 23 percent happier.

Occupant Retention

The perception tenants and employees have of a company and brand was much more positive in a green building than one that wasn’t sustainably built. A study by Cundall found that companies with recycled flooring, improved acoustics, and cleaner air quality in their buildings had 20 percent better staff recruitment and retention. This is a significant takeaway for both facility managers and building owners looking to improve their bottom line.

Connection

In addition to creating a better atmosphere overall, 90 percent of employees in one study said that improvements like LED lighting and a reduction in carbon emissions made a difference in how well they worked with colleagues and their workplace culture.

Well-Being

Sick building syndrome affects thousands of building occupants. Essentially, poor airflow creates pollution that contributes to respiratory problems and disease. Green buildings have been shown to reduce related illness by 33 percent. In addition, the green materials of buildings can result in noise reduction, which lowers stress levels and maintains a healthy workforce.

Ultimately, the most important reasons to invest in green construction are tenant demand and occupant health and performance. The growing demand for green buildings shows the long-term effects of a sustainably built environment far outweigh the short-term costs.

Whether you want to attract long-term tenants for your building or improve the performance of your organization, green solutions should be an important part of any facility manager’s strategy. You’ll want to make a case for how a well-designed building boosts financial figures and allows people to thrive. Check out the infographic below for more specific ways that green buildings are an environmental health and human capital investment.

Once you’ve learned the benefits, your organization can start incorporating simple tips to make your facility green and more energy efficient.

Infographic courtesy of BigRentz.

Lior Zitzman is the Director of Digital Audience at BigRentz, a construction equipment rentals marketplace with a network of over 1,500 rental partners. He has more than 15 years of experience in enterprise-level SEO at automotive publishing and equipment companies.