Green buildings boost productivity

25th October 2016

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  • Business & Industry ,
  • Built environment ,
  • Construction


Stuart Dryden

Workers are healthier, happier and more productive in greener offices, report claims.

The report, published as part of the World Green Building Council’s (WGBC) Better Places for People campaign, presents a range of case studies from building developers, designers, architects, owners and occupiers that strengthen the business case for investing in greener offices.

It says that simple steps such as improving air quality and increasing natural, which typically reduce energy use, can also improve productivity by reducing staff turnover, absenteeism and medical costs.

Terri Wills, WGBC chief executive, said the report built on the organisation’s previous studies: ‘While our earlier work presented the overwhelming evidence between office design and improved health and wellbeing of workers, this report breaks new ground by demonstrating tangible action businesses are taking to improve their workspaces. The results are clear – putting both health and wellbeing, and the environment, at the heart of buildings, is a no brainer for businesses’ employees and the bottom line.’

Construction firm, Skanska said staff sick days were reduced by two thirds following a BREEAM excellent standard refit of its Doncaster offices. The refurbishment, which included improvements to office layout, noise control, indoor air quality and a new central light well, saved £28,000 in staff costs and increased satisfaction levels from 58% to 78%, the report claims.

WGBC said the case for greener buildings was gaining momentum with developers and investors. In a survey of 200 Canadian building owners, 38% of the respondents said greener buildings were worth at least 7% more than standard buildings and 46% said they were easier to lease.

Beth Ambrose, chair of the offices working group at WGBC, said: ‘The business case for healthy buildings is being proven. All over the world, companies, both large and small, are redesigning their offices, changing working practices and trialling new technologies, to improve the wellbeing of their staff, tenants and customers.'

There are more than 20 national green building councils around the world, including UKGBC, aiming to promote healthy green buildings, through certification and rating tools, research and stakeholder engagement. The WGBC report showcases more than 15 buildings that are leading the way.


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