Benefits of a Green Building

Buildings are responsible for an enormous amount of global energy use, resource consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions. In the US, buildings account for almost 40 percent of national CO2 emissions and out-consume both the industrial and transportation sectors. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is one of the most popular green building certification programs used worldwide.  LEED certified buildings have 34% lower CO2 emissions, consume 25 percent less energy, and 11 percent less water. Not only is the construction of a LEED certified building green, but so is its function throughout its lifetime.

Green Buildings are Cost Effective 

Investing in a green building makes properties more valuable. The average increase in value for a green building is around 4 percent. The investment will start to pay for itself in about 7 years.

Buildings that have been LEED certified between the years 2015-2018, in the US, are estimated to have $1.2 billion in energy savings, $149.5 million in water savings, $715.2 million in maintenance savings, and $154.2 million in waste savings.


Green Buildings are Expanding the Market & Breaking Records

By 2018, LEED green building construction will directly contribute 1.1 million jobs and $75.6 billion in wages.

LEED Buildings Perform Better 

LEED is the international standard of excellence in green building with more than 90,000 LEED projects in 165 countries and territories.

LEED projects are getting results across the board, scoring an average Energy Star score of 89 out of 100 points.

Green Buildings Use Natural Resources Efficiently

These buildings have an enormous impact on the environment and climate change. Green buildings are expected to reduce water use by 15 percent and save more than 10 percent in operating costs.

LEED projects are responsible for diverting more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills. By 2030 that number is expected to jump to 540 million tons of waste.

Think your building is ready for a LEED certification? Take a look at how you can get yours here

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The Future of Work: How Office Design is Changing

University interiors are starting to become the inspiration for new office design. This is due to the open and flexible layout that universities provide. College graduates entering the workforce are noticing that the traditional office design doesn't work for them. Businesses are implementing changes. Let’s take a look at what they're doing.

Offer a Flexible Space

KI, a major furniture manufacturer, did a study on new hires and found that 82% of recent alumni hires don’t feel comfortable with the traditional corporate office.

Other KI observations concluded that 25% of employees noticed that new hires like to work “everywhere.” Universities offer libraries, studios, cafes, classrooms, and bedrooms, so recent alumni are accustomed to “working everywhere.”

KI also noted that new hires like to work in groups. The answer could be providing large rooms for collaboration.

The Active Workplace: What does it Look Like?

Active Design: The practice of designing a workplace that inherently encourages mobility. The benefit of implementing active design is to ensure employees are neither standing nor sitting for long periods of time.

Companies are starting to incorporate flexible furniture and wellness programs. Wellness programs offer employees gym memberships, doctor check-ups, and nutrition guides.

Businesses who have started these programs have found that 59% of their workers see actual reductions in health care costs.

In addition wellness programs, employers are adding:

o   Access to natural light- skylights, more windows, outdoor areas.

o   Quiet rooms- for private conversations

o   Greenery- to soften the atmosphere 

o   Treadmills- for mild exercise

o   Sit/stand desks- to balance sitting and standing

New office design also encourages movement by:

o   Making the stairs more convenient and attractive by using graphics, color, and nice lighting.

o   Designing paths for walking outside

The Well Building Standard

The International Well Building Institute was founded in 2013 by Delos in New York, New York. Delos is a huge wellness real estate and tech company. Their focus is the health of a building’s occupants. A building certified by the WELL Standard provides good quality air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and peace of mind.

“The move towards a healthier workplace should be everyone’s responsibility.” -CEO of Delos.

Case Study on Office Wellness

CBRE, a real estate and investment firm, was one of the first companies to be certified in the WELL Building Standard.

After surveying their employees, they found that 92% were positively affected by their new Los Angeles building design. They also found that 94% of the employees surveyed reported a positive impact on their business performance, and 83% stated they felt more productive.


Importance of Creating an Employee Experience

To better improve your workplace experience, you don’t necessarily have to become WELL certified. Gearing your workplace towards bettering the employee experience is a great start. Implementing a couple of these techniques to your office design promises positive results.

What do you think about these changes? Leave a comment below!

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