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healthy building

Why Build Green? Lowered Operational Costs, Increased Staff Productivity and Higher Asset Values

healthy buildingGreen building continues to play a growing role in the construction industry, with building industry professionals forecasting that more than 60 percent of their projects will be “green” by 2018.

This, according to the World Green Building Trends 2016 SmartMarket Report, by Dodge Data & Analytics and United Technologies Corporation, shows the rising global demand for green building, which the report says continues to double every three years.

Why build green? The survey found that green buildings offer significant operational cost savings compared with traditional buildings. Respondents — these include more than 1,000 survey participants from 69 countries — said they expect a 14 percent savings in operational costs over five-year savings for new green buildings and 13 percent savings in operational costs over five years for green retrofits and renovations.

Additionally, building owners report that green buildings, both new and renovated, command a 7 percent increase in asset value over traditional buildings.

This study echoes a November report by the World Green Building Council that found green workplaces benefit the bottom line by improving employee productivity and reducing absenteeism, staff turnover and medical costs.

As the financial benefits of green buildings become more apparent, green leases are becoming more attractive to tenants and investors, willing to pay premiums to achieve long-term benefits, write CBRE apprentice surveyor Jessica Neale and sustainability coordinator Hannah Scott in a CBRE blog post.

“It is acknowledged that occupying sustainable buildings can result in a healthier and more productive work force,” they write. “For occupiers, staff costs account for approximately 90 percent of total expenditure. For landlords, design for wellness can be a clear differentiator in attracting top-quality tenants.”

Corporations and the real estate industry are increasingly looking at how the built environment impacts human health as well as the environment. To maximize the benefits of both, BRE and the International WELL Building Institute last year partnered to make it easier for building projects to achieve both the WELL Building Standard and BREEAM.

This week the two organizations published a briefing paper that outlines how certified BREEAM credits may be used to demonstrate compliance with the WELL Building Standard (WELL) post-occupation. They say the document, Assessing Health and Wellbeing in Buildings, provides guidance on how to streamline the process for pursuing dual certification and offers information for architects and designers to better understand the requirements and how the two standards relate.

“The document will allow clients and design teams to use the same evidence in both schemes,” said Alan Yates, BREEAM technical director. “When you need or want both certification schemes, this document will guide project teams on the most efficient way of going through the process. They won’t need to duplicate evidence or calculate things in different ways, as approximately 35 percent of credits are equivalent or aligned in some way. This will ultimately reduce the burden of assessing both schemes.”

Photo Credit: Assessing Health and Wellbeing in Buildings



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