The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has launched a study to assess the health and productivity benefits associated with green office buildings.
Previous studies have indicated that simple measures, such as improved ventilation, can increase productivity by about 11%, while improved lighting design can increase productivity by up to 23%.
The WorldGBC said that with 85% of a company’s costs spent on salaries and benefits, even modest improvements to staff health and productivity can have a dramatic impact on organisational profitability.
The project aims to establish a common way of capturing the benefits and provide best practice guidance on various green building elements, such as daylight, ventilation and indoor office environments.
During the study, the researchers will attempt to robustly measure health and productivity benefits and attach financial values to them.
WorldGBC CEO Jane Henley said the project intends to identify the metrics that will support investment in greener buildings.
"While there is a growing body of research that firmly supports the connections between sustainable buildings and improved health, productivity and learning outcomes of those who occupy them, this evidence is yet to inform investment decisions in the same way as traditional financial metrics," Henley said.
Jones Lang LaSalle, Lend Lease and Skanska are serving as the corporate sponsors for the project.
The Green Building Councils of Hong Kong, UK, US and Colombia are also partnering on the project.
WorldGBC will establish a steering group of experts in the field, with the final report anticipated this autumn.
The project builds upon WorldGBC’s report from March 2013, The Business Case for Green Building, on existing research into the health benefits of sustainable buildings.