IBM Survey Reveals How Efficient U.S. Buildings Really Are

April 30, 2010
According to IBM's survey, U.S. office buildings have failed to keep pace with the revolution in automation that pervades modern life

In the past 12 months, New York City office workers have spent the equivalent of 22.5 years either waiting for an elevator or stuck in one, according to a new IBM survey.

This statistic, paired with the other findings from the survey, indicates that U.S. office buildings have failed to keep pace with the revolution in automation that pervades modern life. The survey indicates that inefficiencies built into office buildings are taking a toll in lost productivity and added costs.

Designed to gauge how intelligent certain automated and green office buildings are, the IBM survey of 6,486 office workers in 16 U.S. cities looks at a number of important factors, including security, office temperature, use of alternative energy sources, environmental and conservation issues, and elevator reliability.

Here are just a few of the survey’s findings:

  • Nationwide, only 33 percent rated their office buildings “somewhat high,” “very high” or “extremely high” in terms of environmental responsibility. And 65 percent would participate in the redesign of their workspace to make it more environmentally responsible.
  • 31 percent say their office buildings have low-flow toilets.
  • 79 percent of respondents say that they conserve resources such as water or electricity as part of their regular routine at work.
  • More than one-quarter of respondents (26 percent) say that low-emission and sustainable materials are used to promote improved IAQ in their office buildings.
  • 14 percent report that their office buildings make use of solar energy or another renewable energy source.
  • 75 percent say they would be more likely to conserve resources at work if they were rewarded for the effort.

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