Do ‘green’ buildings have better indoor environments? New evidence

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Journal titleBuilding Research and Information
Pages415434; # of pages: 20
Subjectbuilding performance; environmental assessment; green buildings; indoor environment; Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED); occupant satisfaction; post-occupancy evaluation
AbstractA post-occupancy evaluation (POE) of 12 green and 12 conventional office buildings across Canada and the northern United States was conducted. Occupants (N = 2545) completed an online questionnaire related to environmental satisfaction, job satisfaction and organizational commitment, health and well-being, environmental attitudes, and commuting. In each building on-site physical measurements at a sample of workstations (N= 974) were taken, including: thermal conditions, air quality, acoustics, lighting, workstation size, ceiling height, window access and shading, and surface finishes. Green buildings exhibited superior performance compared with similar conventional buildings. Better outcomes included: environmental satisfaction, satisfaction with thermal conditions, satisfaction with the view to the outside, aesthetic appearance, less disturbance from heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) noise, workplace image, night-time sleep quality, mood, physical symptoms, and reduced number of airborne particulates. A variety of physical features led to improved occupant outcomes across all buildings, including: conditions associated with speech privacy, lower background noise levels, higher light levels, greater access to windows, conditions associated with thermal comfort, and fewer airborne particulates. Green building rating systems might benefit from further attention in several areas, including: credits related to acoustic performance, a greater focus on reducing airborne particulates, enhanced support for the interdisciplinary design process and development of POE protocols.
Publication date
AffiliationConstruction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC numberNRC-CONST-55404
NPARC number21268571
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Record identifierbe8e51e7-9e2b-4a7c-b3a4-f08f5dbadb27
Record created2013-10-09
Record modified2017-07-05
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