Occupant Satisfaction Linked to Green Certification

March 24, 2015

Building sustainability shown to improve tenant happiness.

While most of the focus on green certifications such as LEED and ENERGY STAR is on the cost savings associated with sustainable practices, a new study from DTZ shows that occupants in green certified buildings tend to be more satisfied than those in conventional buildings.

The survey compared responses to Kingsley Associates’ industry standard tenant surveys from both conventional facilities and buildings certified by LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB), ENERGY STAR, and the Office of Management and Budget’s Sustainability and Energy Scorecard, covering 61 buildings in total.

The researchers found that buildings with at least one certification averaged a satisfaction score at least seven points higher than uncertified facilities, while those facilities boasting two or more certifications scored even higher. According to the survey, ENERGY STAR buildings averaged 30-point-higher scores than the others, while LEED-EB facilities averaged 10 points higher than those without that certification. Conversely, the OMB Sustainability and Energy Scorecard was not shown to have a measurable impact on occupant happiness.

“Sustainability is not only a measure to improve our built and natural environment, it’s also a sound, forward-thinking business practice with a proven, positive business impact, from lowering costs to improving client services and satisfaction,” says Marla Maloney, president of asset services, Americas at DTZ. 

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