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Happy, Healthy and Productive

Sustainable construction and green building is one of the many topics discussed regularly in Metal Architecture. Given the number of LEED-certified buildings that now exist, do you ever wonder whether the known benefits of sustainable building actually have an effect on the people who work in them?

A new survey from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) finds that employees who work in LEED-certified green buildings are happier, healthier and more productive than employees in conventional and non-LEED buildings.

Conducted by New York City-based Porter Novelli on behalf of the USGBC, the survey was taken by 1,001 U.S. workers who are employed full or part-time, or are self-employed but work in an office building setting.

Employees also want to work for companies that are value orientated, take stances on important issues such as sustainability, and do their part to make a positive difference in the world. The survey shows that 84 percent of respondents want to work for companies with a strong, concrete mission and positive values.

Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC, says, “Employees know that green building programs like LEED help companies to develop responsible, sustainable and specific plans for green energy, water, waste, transportation and many other factors accountable for the human experience.”

Working in a LEED-certified building extends past those who currently work in one, to those who are also looking for new jobs. The report finds that people’s decisions were influenced by whether or not a potential new workplace was in a LEED-certified building. More than 90 percent of respondents already in LEED-certified buildings say they are satisfied on the job, while 79 percent say that would choose a job in a LEED-certified building over a non-LEED building.

“We discovered that today’s employees are more motivated than ever to work for a company that promotes not just a higher standard of living for its employees, but also of its community,” adds Ramanujam. “In today’s highly competitive job market, if companies want to attract and retain highly skilled, talented employees, they must demonstrate a commitment to environmental, human and economic sustainability.”

The benefits of working in a LEED-certified building include improved productivity, health and wellness. The survey shows that these attributes, as well as working in spaces with clean and high-quality indoor air, directly contribute to employees feeling happy and fulfilled at work. Additionally, more than 80 percent of respondents say that being productive on the job and having access to clean, high-quality indoor air contributes to their overall workplace happiness. And, 85 percent of employees in LEED-certified buildings say access to quality outdoor views and natural sunlight boosts their overall productivity and happiness, while 80 percent say enhanced air quality leads to improved physical health and comfort.

What are your thoughts on the survey? Do you work in a LEED-certified building? Would the opportunity to work in a LEED-certified building factor into your decision on whether or not to take a new job?

Drop us a line below. We’d love to hear your thoughts.


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