Presentation for the Delaware Valley Green Building Council

Health Benefits of Green Buildings
Lorna Rosenberg Alyssa Neir March 20, 2003 US Environmental Protection Agency, Region III

Some Facts
• Studies by EPA and Fisk suggest that buildings with Sick Building Syndrome or places where there is increased risk of respiratory disease potentially have a significant loss of productivity • A study by the American Medical Association and the US Army (1990) looked at the consequences of health problems caused by poor IAQ
– $150 million in work days/year – $15 billion in lost productivity/year

• $12 to $125 billion per year can be saved by improving worker performance through enhancing the thermal environment and the lighting

Office and Retail Buildings
• Approximately 75% of all workers today work in offices • A 1% gain in productivity in the services sector is worth 3.5 times as much as the same gain in the manufacturing sector

Factors Contributing to Increases in Productivity Result in…
• • • • • Approximately 10% increase in output 20% better accuracy 40% increase in sales 15-40% decrease in absenteeism 26% decrease in health complaints

• Lockheed’s engineering development and design facility (daylit building)
– 15% increase in their rate of production

• Verifone Worldwide Distribution Headquarters (upgrade: roof skylights, energy efficiency, air handlers, natural gas fired cooling system, high performance windows, 60% more insulation than code, and occupancy sensors)
– 5% increase in productivity – Paid cost of upgrades in less than 1 year; 100% ROI

Better Accuracy
• Superior Die Set Corporation, Oak Creek, WI (high benefit lighting retrofit)
– Saved $37,460/year from error reduction

• American Hardware Supply Distribution Center (high benefit lighting retrofit)
– Saved $1,800/year from error reduction

• Heschong Mahone Group studied the sales performance of 108 stores (2/3 daylighting, 1/3 not)
– 40% average increase in sales in daylit stores

• Lockheed’s engineering development and
design facility (daylit building)
– 15% decrease in absenteeism

Health Complaints (Building Maintenance Response)
• West Bend Mutual Insurance Company (building built with energy efficient light, better windows and shell insulation, and an efficient HVAC system)
– Number of thermal condition complaint calls decreased from >40 per week to only 2 per week
• Each call cost about $25 plus $300 in maintenance

Health Benefits to Schools

Green Schools Mean…
• Healthier Children from Better Indoor Air Quality
– Reduces asthma triggers; off-gassing from building materials and cleaning supplies; and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – Full Spectrum Lighting

• Higher Test Scores and Faster Progress
– Maximizes daylight through windows and welldesigned skylights – Control

Poor Indoor Air Quality Includes…
• Abundance of Asthma triggers, Offgassing, and Mold
– Causal relationships are hard to quantify

• Poor Ventilation
– A study was conducted that found that lower concentrations of carbon dioxide, achieved through higher ventilation rates, “...were associated with higher scores on computerized tests.”

• An estimated 8.4 million students are in schools that have poor indoor air quality.

Healthier Children

Full-Spectrum Lighting
• Canadian psychologist Warren Hathaway found that when full-spectrum light was used in schools there were positive results on students • Vermont psychiatrist Wayne London (1998) looked at the effects of fullspectrum fluorescent lighting in schools
– Found that sick days were reduced by 1/3 in classrooms that had that type of lighting

Case Study Heschong Mahone Group (1999), funded by PG&E

The Heschong Mahone Group Study
• The effects of daylight on student performance • Findings:
– Classrooms with the most daylighting: Students progressed 20% faster on math tests and 26% faster on reading tests
• Test scores were 7-8% higher

– Classrooms with the largest window areas: 15% faster in math; 23% faster in reading – Classrooms with a well-designed skylight: improved 19-20% faster – Classrooms with windows that could be opened: progressed 7-8% faster

Heschong Mahone Group Conclusions
• The effects of daylighting on students’ performance in schools is ‘consistently positive’ and ‘highly significant’ • Daylighting, which is a feature of green schools, can only add to a child’s educational experience.

“Innovative Design’s” (ID) Daylit Schools in North Carolina

The Study
• ID designed three schools in Johnston County • School’s were designed to maximize daylight
– Used south-facing roof monitors – Allowed controlled sunlight to enter the spaces that were most frequently occupied

• Students’ performance in the daylit schools was analyzed using California State test scores

Elementary and Middle School Results
• Four Oaks Elementary School
– Test scores increased by 3% in the new, daylit school

• In two daylit Middle Schools
– There was an average increase of 12.5% in test scores compared to 5% improvement in all schools countywide

Multiple Years in Daylit Schools
• Average of the math and reading test scores for the last grade in the school (1992/93 compared to 1994/95) • Daylit school’s 7th graders were 17% higher than the rest of the county
– Selma 7th grade: +32% – County wide average 7th grade: +15%

• Daylit school’s 8th graders were 11% higher than the rest of the county
– Clayton 8th grade: +21% – County wide average 8th grade: +10% – North Johnston 8th grade: -2%

• Daylight improved the students’ test scores from 2% (Clayton) to 13% (Selma) more than the county wide averages. • Multiple years in daylit schools show a greater improvement of 11-17% for math and reading test scores.

Better Health and Salaries
• 92% of 30-year building costs is spent on salaries • 1% savings in salaries could justify improving the working environment

(City of Seattle)

Improved Productivity Makes Financial Sense
Data Average Salary + Benefits Size of Workstation Productivity Gain Building Size Calculation 1. $29,250 salary/13.94 m2 2. 1% x $2,098.30 = 3. $20.98 productivity increase/m2 x 46,451.5 m2 = $2,098.30 per person/m2 $20.98 productivity increase/ m2 $975,000 per year $29,250 13.94 m2 1% 46,451.5 m2

A 3% increase in productivity would lead to a benefit of: $2,925,000 per year.
(Carol Lomonaco, Johnson Controls, Inc.)

Green Buildings and Funding
• "In the context of the philanthropic community, these linkages [between the modern medical and public health professions with the city planners, engineers, developers, and architects] provide opportunities for health and care funders to expand the scope of their activities, and to collaborate with funders engaged in the smart growth and livable communities movement."
The Funders' Network (February 2003)

• Health benefits in office buildings lead to financial benefits
– Health Problems = Productivity = Salaries for Less Work – Health Problems = Productivity = Amount of Work for same Salary

• Health benefits in schools lead to improved health and performance • Higher building costs are an investment that decreases costs over the life of the building

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