Workers say 'green' buildings boost productivity

Aug 11, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Workers who moved from conventional office buildings to environmentally friendly “green” buildings said they called in sick less often and were more productive, according to a study by a team of Michigan State University researchers.

The study appears in the online version of the American Journal of Public Health.

The researchers, who looked at two case studies in the Lansing area, found that moving to LEED-certified buildings contributed to noticeable reductions in self-reported absenteeism and stress. It also improved the workers’ productivity as a result of perceived improvements in health and well-being.

“These preliminary findings indicate that green buildings may positively affect public health,” the researchers write.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental , is a designation by the U.S. Green Building Council for buildings with environmentally friendly design, construction practices and operation.

The research team consists of Amanjeet Singh, a former MSU master’s student; Matt Syal, professor of planning, design and construction; Sue Grady, assistant professor of geography; and Sinem Korkmaz, assistant professor of planning, design and construction.

The researchers said they plan to continue seeking funds to monitor the study participants and also conduct similar studies at different sites.

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bhiestand
not rated yet Aug 11, 2010
Admittedly I haven't read the study, but I do wonder whether you can get the same effect from moving to a new building. About three years ago, we moved from a 50+ year old building with known asbestos problems to a brand new facility. The new facility had better lighting, new furniture, etc.

I definitely felt happier and healthier at work after the move to the new building even though the new building was nowhere near green.