Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal — Green Buildings — April 27 - May 10, 2012 — 15A


U. S. Green Building Council, NJ Chapter

Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Friends and Colleagues, As we seek to establish the life cycle costs and financial impact of green buildings, one of the most difficult areas to quantify has historically been worker productivity. There has been significant research in this area that has yielded some very compelling data. The following perspective appeared in an article in the PSE&G EnergE Link newsletter, which we are referencing here with their permission. The question is: Can Saving Energy Increase Worker Productivity? “…Worker Productivity gains are rarely considered in return-on-investment calculations for energy- efficiency upgrades. This is because productivity is more difficult to measure than energy use, especially in relation to a specific project. A number of studies, however, have demonstrated that energy-efficiency improvements can also help increase productivity. What the Research Says: Pioneering research in this field was conducted in the 1990s by Dr. Joseph Romm, an official with the U.S. Department of Energy. Examinations of businesses launching energy-efficiency programs

BOARD OF DIRECTORS CHAIR Anastasia Harrison, AIA, LEED AP Gannett Fleming, Inc. VICE CHAIR Wayne D. DeFeo, LEED AP DeFeo Associates TREASURER Ed Seliga Advanced Solar Products, Inc. SECRETARY RJ Donnelly, LEED AP Donnelly Industries, Inc. PAST CHAIR WilliamAmann, P.E., DCEP, LEEDAP M & E Engineers, Inc DIRECTORS David Cardella Cardella Waste Services Zach Gallagher, P.E., LEED AP NJ Meadowlands Comission Joe Porrovecchio, LEED AP, CRM Carbon-Key, LLC Paul Qvale, LEED AP Hillmann Group Lisa San Filippo, AIA, LEEDAP, BD&C Turner Construction Co. Faith Taylor Wyndham Worldwide Andrew Topinka, CPMR Technical Group Services, Inc Ed Walsh, P.E. The Walsh Company Gregg Woodruff, PP, AICP, LEED AP, BD&C Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Florence Block Alliance Environmental, LLC Bill Gates, LEED AP BD&C Hunt Construction Anthony Marano Marano Group, Inc. Brad Miller, P.E., P.P.


showed that, “profits created by the jump in worker productivity can exceed energy savings by a factor of 10.” (Romm 1994) More recent studies have linked energy-efficiency improvements—such as natural ventilation and daylighting—to increased productivity through reduced absenteeism and enhanced work atmosphere. A 2009 study by the University of San Diego and the C.B. Richard Ellis Group found those tenants in green office buildings experienced increased productivity and fewer sick days. Survey respondents reported an average of three fewer sick days per year and 55% of respondents reported improved productivity. The research included 154 buildings with over 3,000 tenants. Green buildings were defined as those with LEED certification or bearing the ENERGY STAR label. (Miller 2009) Michigan State University surveyed employees who moved from conventional buildings to LEED certified buildings. The survey found reduced absenteeism, increased work hours of nearly 40 hours per person annually, and an increase in overall productivity. (Singh 2010) The Carnegie Mellon Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics identified numerous case studies in which energy-saving measures, such as the introduction of natural ventilation and daylighting, resulted in individual productivity improvements of 10% to 15%, while reducing annual energy consumption by 10% to 75%. (Loftness 2003) The University of Pittsburgh quantified the energy-saving and productivity benefits of a manufacturer that moved from a conventional facility into a green building. Castcon Stone, a manufacturer of cement products, moved from its old plant into a new, LEED-certified facility. Results showed that productivity in the new facility increased by 25%, while energy use per square foot decreased by 30%. Energy consumption took into account electric, natural gas, and fuel use, while productivity was defined as concrete poured per hour. While a growing body of evidence suggests that substantial productivity gains can accompany improvements in energy efficiency, more research is necessary to obtain accurate estimates for specific types of projects. A standard methodology for measuring and verifying productivity improvements from energy efficiency would be of great value to organizations evaluating the potential cost and benefits of energy-efficiency investments. “ One of the most critical and high cost impact line items for any company is its human resources, so we need to become as adept in measuring productivity and its cost impact as we have become in measuring our energy and hard costs. To be continued…. Florence Block Executive Director USGBC NJ Singh, Amanjeet. “Effects of Green Buildings on Employee Health and Productivity.” American Journal of Public Health. July 2010. Vickroy, Rod. “LEED for Commercial Interiors Can Result In Productivity Gains, Energy Savings.”FacilitiesNet. May 2010. Chapter Events 5/4/12 – Building Sciences Workshop II: Residential Indoor Air Quality, 7:30 – 12 pm Bergen County Community College, Paramus, NJ 5/7/12 – USGBC NJ Central Branch Presents Salsa Night, 5 – 9 pm — Hamilton Manor, Hamilton, NJ 5/15/12 – LEED O&M 251: Understanding the Operations & Maintenance LEED Rating System, 8 – 5 pm, The Green Living and Building Center, Lambertville, NJ 5/22-23/12 – GPRO Fundamentals + Operations & Maintenance Essentials, 8 – 5 pm each day, Isles’ Center for Energy and Environmental Training, Trenton, NJ 7/30/12 – 9th Annual Golf Outing, NJ National Golf Club, Basking Ridge, NJ References Loftness, Vivian. Linking Energy to Health and Productivity in the Built Environment. Carnegie Mellon Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics, 2003. Miller, Norman, et. al. “Green Buildings and Productivity.” Journal of Sustainable Real Estate. Fall 2009. Romm, Joseph. “Worker Productivity Rises with Energy Efficiency.” Industrial Engineer. November 1994.

For details on all USGBC-NJ events, visit www.usgbcNJ.org

LEED Green Associate GENERAL COUNSEL Harry E. McLellan, Esq, LEED Green Associate

Number of New Jersey chapter members:


McLellan & Associates, LLC CHAPTER COORDINATOR Mary Ellen Garrigus Communications & Membership Coordinator Medea Villere ’ www.usgbcnj.org

Number of USGBC member Companies in NJ:


Number of LEED Accredited Professionals in NJ:


Number of LEED registered projects in NJ:


Number of LEED certified projects in NJ:


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