A building is green when it has been designed or modified to meet defined criteria for sustainability. A typical green building uses 30 percent less energy, 35 percent less carbon, 30 to 50 percent less water and generates 50 to 90 percent less waste.
While most people believe that green building relates to the building and the health of it's occupants, there are also studies showing that productivity is enhanced in various ways.
Here are some exciting statistics culled from the Cornell Real Estate Review:
- Improving indoor air quality can reduce symptoms of asthma, sick building syndrome, allergies, respiratory infections, headaches, and colds by 41.5% on average (Carnegie Mellon 2005).
- Buildings with high ventilation rates experience absentee rates that are 35% lower than buildings with moderate ventilation rates (Milton 2000).
- High-performance lighting enhances productivity by 6.7%, while improved temperature control enhances productivity by 3.6% (Carnegie Mellon 2005).
- A bank experienced a 30% reduction in staff turnover after moving to its green certified building (Winters 2006) while a law firm experienced significant professional staff loss primarily due to poor-quality office space, losing 30 professional staff in 12 months.