Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Health and Well-Being in the Office

A healthy, happy workforce is a vital component of a productive, successful business in the long-term. Despite the obvious notion of the importance of office design, it has not had a major influence on the real estate sector nor has it begun to permeate financial decision making.

Evidence of how the design of an office impacts health, well being, and productivity of its occupants can be measured by:
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Thermal Comfort
  • Daylighting and Lighting
  • Biophilia - suggestion that we have an instinctive bond to nature
  • Noise
  • Interior Layout
  • Look and Feel
  • Active Design and Exercise
  • Amenities and Location
The concept of "green" buildings suggests the use of low carbon or energy efficient operation of the building. Though these are important to the health of occupants as well as the environment, it can be considered short-sighted to think that they are automatically considered healthier. Research has shown that there are three key areas that need to be addressed in increasing the health and well being of the occupants of the building. The first of which is to put users in control which allows occupants to have personal control over their environment increasing their productivity and desire to work. The next is understanding the importance of maximizing daylight. Daylight provides the necessary light for creating a productive environment while also reducing the use of electricity and fluorescent lighting. The last key area is the use of passive design through use of natural ventilation to promote the benefits of fresh air and adequate thermal comfort.

The framework for measuring the effectiveness of the office building is determined by three key features including physical, perceptual, and financial relationships. The financial measurements are used to determine objective aspects of the green building. The perceptual aspects are measured through self-reports from occupants. The physical aspects are measured in terms of the actual design and operation of the building itself. The relationship between these three forms of measurements are used to maximize the effectiveness of green buildings for the health and well-being of the occupants.

Green buildings are advantageous to healthy and productive occupants in terms of their good design, construction, behavior, and location. The reinterpretation of the "green" movement has been extended to include not only the environmental considerations but also health, well-being, and productivity.

To read the full report regarding the green movement for healthy buildings and healthy occupants, view Health, Wellbeing & Productivity in Offices.

To learn more about the LEED green building rating systems, attend our FREE live webinar, offered every month! Visit https://www.greenedu.com/free-intro-to-leed-accreditation-webinar-courses to learn more and register.