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Work. 2014;49(3):363-72. doi: 10.3233/WOR-141870.

Occupant comfort and health in green and conventional university buildings.

Author information

1
Department of Design and Environmental Analysis, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.
2
Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
3
Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Health Sciences and Human Performance, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Green building standards are significantly impacting modern construction practices. The resulting structures are more energy efficient, but their impact on occupant health has not been widely studied.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate a range of indoor environment and ergonomic issues in green buildings.

METHODS:

Retrospective post-occupancy evaluation survey of 319 occupants in two Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings and one conventional building on a Canadian University campus.

RESULTS:

Results show that working in the LEED buildings was a generally positive experience for their health, performance, and satisfaction. However, the LEED buildings did not always receive the highest ratings for environmental conditions or for health and productivity. Respondents indicated a range of concerns with thermal conditions, office lighting, noise and their overall workstation designs and these were not always better in the green buildings.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results highlight the need for better integration of ergonomic design into green buildings and into the LEED rating system, and these implications are discussed.

KEYWORDS:

Green buildings; indoor environmental conditions; occupant health; office ergonomics; productivity

PMID:
24858516
DOI:
10.3233/WOR-141870
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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