Eco-friendly engineering is paving the way to a healthier, more sustainable future. Whether through initial design or later retrofitting, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings provide standards for creating environmentally sound buildings that both owners and occupants can appreciate.
The tenant benefit most readily appreciated by those who work and live in LEED certified buildings is their outstanding indoor environmental quality (IEQ). Approximately 90% of every day is spent indoors, where the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recorded up to ten times the concentration of pollutants present outdoors. With so much time spent in potentially toxic environments, it is no surprise that IEQ can have an immense impact on human health, comfort and productivity. Retrofitting to meet LEED requirements has shown up to 50% reductions in discomfort and health problems associated with these locations.
An important factor in creating proper IEQ is fresh air ventilation fitted with antimicrobial filters. Combined with a requirement to keep smoking at a distance of at least 25 feet from the building, these air quality standards minimize entry or accumulation of illness- and allergy-inducing agents. Proper ventilation also prevents the accumulation of carbon dioxide, an important factor in preventing the headaches, dizziness and nausea associated with sick building syndrome.
While LEED standards provide savings to property owners over the life cycle of a building, residential buildings where tenants are responsible for utility costs can also appreciate the pleasure of energy efficiency. Due to their lowered expense and greater occupant comfort, LEED certified residential sites have been shown to achieve up to 6% higher occupancy rates.
Office spaces also benefit immensely from LEED certification, a factor reflected in part by improved employee performance. Even a 2% investment in green design has been shown to lead to a ten-fold return, in large part through reduced employee illness and enhanced productivity. Excellent IEQ is created in part through significant natural lighting, a requirement that also provides ample windows to the outdoors. Studies have shown that employees with scenic views perform up to 25% better on mental performance and recall tasks, a benefit to employers and employees alike.
In addition to the enhanced occupant health and comfort provided by the excellent IEQ of LEED certified buildings, many employees appreciate being able to honor the principles of their eco-friendly life style within the workplace. With simple yet profound acts such as on-site recycling and increased incorporation of reusable materials, employees learn about and also contribute to honoring a healthy and environmentally sustainable way of life.
Not sure of the tenant benefits? Just ask the employees at SIG about their LEED Platinum certified workspace! Their scenic views of trees and buildings, they like to refer to as ‘Atlanta’s Central Park’, waste minimization efforts and non-disposable supplies, such as dishes and silverware, ensure that even a day in a centrally located Atlanta office provides a connection to nature. Ask today how Sustainable Investment Group (SIG) can help your building benefit the earth and its occupants.
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