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Indoor Air Quality In Offices – The Business Case

The business case for green and healthy buildings is gaining momentum with benefits reported across different areas (World Green Building Council) including savings to utility bills, lower construction costs and higher property values.

For most businesses, their most significant outgoings are staff wages, so any measures which increase productivity and wellbeing can have a significant effect on the bottom line.

This is supported by research conducted at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Centre for Health and the Global Environment (Allen et al. 2016) which shows that working in high-performing, green-certified buildings can improve employee decision-making.

Typical operating costs for an office building are reported (Chris Pottage 2016) as being 1% energy costs, 9% rental costs and 90% staff costs in salaries and benefits. Interventions that impact on those staff costs could therefore potentially have a significant impact on overall building operating costs.

The Stoddart Review points out that not enough organisations measure workplace effectiveness and that the workplace can be a barrier to higher productivity, “just a 1% increase in the UK’s productivity will add £20 bn to the UK Economy” Duncan Weldon, economist, writes in the Stoddart Review.

Mark Tyson, also writing in the Stoddart Review however points out that we do not have a “one-size-fits-all” answer to measuring productivity” and that the solution lies with individual companies own productivity measures and linking them to the built environment they occupy.