Sustainable Features Benefit Human Health

July 22, 2015

Environmentally friendly buildings can improve occupant wellbeing. 

In addition to reducing energy and water consumption, green-certified buildings can have positive impacts on occupant health as well, according to a review of fifteen studies on the matter. The review, published in Current Environmental Health Reports, found that green building occupants are more satisfied with IAQ, their workspace, facility cleanliness, and maintenance. Occupants in green facilities are also less likely to report suffering from symptoms of sick building syndrome and report enjoying better physical and mental health, with higher productivity, lower employee turnover, and a decreased length of open staff positions also associated with facilities that prioritize sustainability.

The one factor that was not shown to improve in green certified buildings was acoustics, with several respondents across multiple studies noting that they were not satisfied with the high levels of noise in their workplace. While the review, relied mainly on self-reported measures and the authors admit that answers received in occupant surveys are subjective by nature, they suggest that future researchers could use mobile health sensors to more accurately monitor the health effect of green measures on occupant health.

Looking to learn more about how to get certified under LEED? Check out this guide for existing buildings

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