The undisputed leader in sustainable building practices,
The U.S. Green Building Council
LEED certification program promotes increasing employee productivity,
reducing energy and other costs, and in the long term providing a facility
that costs less to operate.
LEED was created to:
• define "green building" by establishing a common standard of measurement
• promote integrated, whole-building design practices
• recognize environmental leadership in the building industry
• stimulate green competition
• raise consumer awareness of green building benefits
• transform the building market
Initially, LEED was targeted exclusively at new buildings. Last year,
LEED-EB for existing buildings was introduced and offers an even greater
opportunity for reducing energy use and other costs while creating
an improved employee environment, which results in productivity gains.
Another direct benefit is a higher real estate value. A green building
has a long list of marketable benefits, which can translate into both
higher rents and sales prices.
Green buildings are not only environmentally optimal but economically
as well. They're the most efficient buildings, and the most productive.
After studying the hundreds of LEED certified projects, the building
community is finding that green buildings have a negligible increase
in cost, they are essentially cost neutral. Practicing green building
results in superior buildings that realize a 25-50% reduction in operating
A study by the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory in the US concluded
that buildings with good overall environmental quality can reduce
the rate of respiratory ailments, allergies, and asthma, while greatly
improving productivity. Case studies have shown that the potential
financial benefits of improving indoor environments are estimated
at 8-14 times the cost investment.
Another study by the Rocky Mountain Institute indicates that productivity
gains of up to 16% are achievable in building with energy-efficient
design and utilization of renewable, low VOC building materials. These
increases in productivity are realized by a reduced absenteeism and
improved quality of work. Because employee costs and productivity
are a huge component of a company’s costs and its economic success,
even a slight adjustment can reap enormous savings. It has long been
accepted that a happy, healthy employee is a productive employee.
Just recently, we have realized the important role that a green building
holds in that equation.
While LEED addresses the commercial building arena, and most studies
will monitor business environments, your own home certainly deserves
the same treatment. The average person spends more time at home than
at the office, so wouldn’t the benefits be greater on a personal residential
Index | Sustainability
in Business | Bamboo