If you’re walking around building condensed streets in the Bay Area, you have likely seen the term “LEED Certified” embellished on an entry wall. Whether commercial or residential, this rating system can be found everywhere and anywhere. And that’s great while you’re outside getting some fresh air, enjoying the sunshine (unless you’re in SF and Karl the Fog has spread itself like butter across the sky.)
Then finally you go inside your building…. and you arrive at your desk.
From 9am-5pm, you may feel cramped, have no contact with the sun, and are basically just stuck breathing in the same stifling air. What’s worse is that, until you send that last email or make your last phone call, you won’t have a moment to feel what the world offers outside your workplace walls.
But, what if you could bring the outdoors right to your desk. What if you could have your entire building sustained by natural resources? For tenants, this is a big deal. LEED Certification is the solution to that problem.
What is LEED Certification you ask?
Created by the U.S. Green Building Council(USGBC), LEED Certification is an independent 3rd party that provides a framework to optimize and rate a building’s performance, requiring its members to uphold accountability. The mission is to use LEED guidelines as a way to conserve energy and water consumption which ultimately save money on energy by changing the way in which building design and practices move forward with projects.
We want you to know that the physical state of your building does affect your tenant’s performance and well being.
For a long period of time, conventional building construction with much thought of the environment. Now, with LEED, we can take into account the well being of occupants while still maintaining natural resources that help save money and promote clean, renewable energy.
By LEED standards, an occupant or worker’s productivity can be expected to increase because of natural environmental qualities inside of a building. It’s important to note that the physical state of a building can prevent or encourage the tenants to work to the best of their capabilities. Since LEED building uses natural materials, the occupants are able to have better airflow and lighting that improves health and productivity. In 2010, a study was carried out on green buildings that focused on two companies. The two companies began working in conventional buildings and then moved to LEED-certified buildings. The result showed a positive effect after switching to LEED and the improved air quality resulted in a decrease in half the amount of absences because of respiratory-related illness such as Sick Building Syndrome (YES, THAT IS AN ACTUAL THING AND YOU MIGHT HAVE IT.) (Singh, Syal, Grady & Korkmaz, 2015, p. 1666).
If the building is ultimately saving on energy and water consumption costs, there is the ability to budget for other projects.
Another study was carried out in Australia in 2009. A law firm showed tracked before and after sick days. After moving to a five green star-rated building, which is very high in Australia, sick days decreased by 39%. It drastically cut the average monthly cost of sick leave. (Dunckley, 2007).
Every action has a reaction. Improving a tenant’s productivity means that there is a better environment for them to make sure that their best work is coming out and that your building has more value and is considered more desirable with something as simple as slapping that LEED title onto the entrance of your building wall.
The best part is that any building can take steps into LEED certification. It is a ranking system which means that your building can reach LEED standards at different levels. But, don’t worry, that topic will be included in another article 🙂
At Century Building Maintenance, we know our customers are just about as obsessed with their buildings are we are. That’s why we recommend you LEED your building in the right direction.
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