Measure what you treasure


Isn’t it wonderful to study or work in a spacious sunlit room quietly ventilated with fresh air? I believe you have felt at least once the superiority of such spaces.

Apparently, this is is exactly what could hook a potential tenant who wish to rent a building with a “greener” profile for his company’s premises. As research shows, there is much more in natural light and advanced ventilation then “just” energy savings – this more friendly environment can increase employees’ productivity. Now, these questions are even actively highlighted in economic journals (Eichholtz, Kok & Quigley, 2010, The American Economic Review). However, as these guys state, while there are studies trying to connect employee health issues and absenteeism to tangible costs, it is far more complicated to do so compared to waste reduction or energy efficiency.

Hopefully, more answers to this issues are coming soon.  World Green Building Council sets for creating comprehensive metrics for “measuring health, well-being and productivity that can be translated into financial benefits”. According to ‘Ethical Performance’, the hard data showing 11% gains from improved ventilation and 23% from better lights is already existent. It is, however, still challenging to communicate it on the “investment language”. This is what the WGBC intends to achieve.

What is more promising, one of the sponsors of the project is the Swedish construction company, Skanska. When such initiatives start coming from the beginning of the “building chain”, the transition to sustainable development in the industry seems more tangible. And when future tenants realize what business benefits green buildings can give them, the machine will start working even faster.

* Photo borrowed from