Quality of sustainable office buildings: The impact of sustainable buildings on the comfort, well-being and productivity of building users
||Annika Feige, Holger Wallbaum, Lukas Windlinger and Marcel Janser
||Quality of sustainable office buildings: The impact of sustainable buildings on the comfort, well-being and productivity of building users
||19th Annual European Real Estate Society Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland
||“How do office buildings impact the comfort, well-being and productivity level of workplace users?” is an important question for many companies. Worldwide a growing number of employees are working in the service sector, the majority in offices. The salaries of office workers exceed building energy and maintenance costs by a factor of approximately 100 (Wargocki, 2009), and with 65% cost of labor, represents the biggest share of total costs in service companies (M. Holz and P. Da-Cruz, 2007). This means that cost cutting measures for labor cost would have the biggest influence on the total share of cost, and therefore be of special interest for service companies. Following the aspect of social sustainability, sustainable construction should enhance the comfort and well-being, and therefore, the productivity of building users. Hence, building related aspects of sustainable buildings would positively influence the labor costs of service companies. Solely considering the aspect of air quality, previous studies have already shown that a ten percent reduction in the percentage dissatisfied with air quality corresponds to about a one percent increase in the performance of office work. That would already justify the expenditures required to enhance air quality (Wargocki, 2000). Considering the whole range of sustainability aspects, even better results are expected. In a study of about 40 office buildings in Switzerland, the relation between sustainable construction, comfort, well-being and productivity are analyzed using questionnaires for building occupants, physical measurements and building evaluations. This study provides insight as to how effective sustainable buildings, which place special importance on the social aspect, positively influence the aspect of productivity. Within this conference paper first results of this important research project will be presented. The social aspect of sustainability is often not considered sufficiently during the planning process of office buildings, and fades to the background in comparison to direct economical or ecological aspects. By considering this aspect in an early planning stage, smart and healthy workplace could be created and thus the productivity of building users could be enhanced resulting in lowered costs of labor for service companies.
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||Parallel Session D5
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