Effects of Green Buildings on Employee Health and Productivity

We investigated the effects of improved indoor environmental quality (IEQ) on perceived health and productivity in occupants who moved from conventional to green (according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ratings) office buildings. In 2 retrospective–prospective case studies we found that improved IEQ contributed to reductions in perceived absenteeism and work hours affected by asthma, respiratory allergies, depression, and stress and to self-reported improvements in productivity. These preliminary findings indicate that green buildings may positively affect public health.

Specifically the study found that the move from a “traditional” building to a green building:

  • Lowered the average time at work that employees suffered from depression and stress from 20.2 to 14 hours a month.
  • Decreased the average work hours per month that asthma and respiratory allergies affected workers from 16.3 to 6.3 hours.
  • Cut the average number of hours per month an employee reported being absent per month because of asthma and allergies from 1.12 to 0.49.
  • Reduces self-reported absenteeism from stress and depression from 0.93 hours per month to 0.47.
Suggested citation or credit:
Amanjeet Singh, Matt Syal, Sue C. Grady, and Sinem Korkmaz.  Effects of Green Buildings on Employee Health and Productivity. American Journal of Public Health: September 2010, Vol. 100, No. 9, pp. 1665-1668.
doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.180687
Additional credits:

Matt Syal (Michigan State University)

Sue C. Grady (Michigan State University)

Sinem Korkmaz (Michigan State University)

Source: American Journal of Public Health

Publication Date: December 2009

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