Data Suggests LEED Bldgs More Productive

And now, in good news for healthy building proponents everywhere, a study conducted by researchers at Michigan State University (MSU)  (and featured recently in the American Journal of Public Health) reports that workers who moved from conventional office buildings to environmentally friendly “green” buildings said they called in sick less often and got more done during the workday.

MSU’s team of researchers conducted two case studies in the Lansing area, following two companies that moved operations from a conventionally-built office building to a LEED-certified one. The workers surveyed for the study reported that the move contributed to noticeable reductions in absenteeism and stress. It also improved the workers’ self-reported productivity, as a result of perceived improvements in health and well-being.

MSUGreenBuildingsStudy

image via MSU

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. Pending further funding, the team plans to continue to monitor the study participants and to expand their research to include different sites.

The published version of the study sums up the researchers’ findings with a sentiment that many familiar with green building practices already share: “These preliminary findings indicate that green buildings may positively affect public health.” Which begs the question–if green buildings can save on utilities and boost production, isn’t it time for the captains of industry to get on board?

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.