Do Certified Buildings Enhance Indoor Environmental Quality and Performance of Office Work?

Nuno Alexandre Faria Da Silva, Pawel Wargocki

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


With the growth of sustainability consciousness, the awareness of stakeholders for high performance buildings has also increased. The concept of green buildings has appeared. Several voluntary environmental rating schemes for buildings were created. Their focus has been energy conservation and environmental impacts. The schemes use different credit system for various variables and different approaches to rate indoor environmental quality (IEQ) (Figure 1). It is interesting to examine, whether human related factors are properly addressed in the schemes, especially considering the potential effects on productivity and that an average employee cost can be >10-100 times higher than the rental operation and maintenance costs (Morrell, 2005; Persramet al., 2007). There is however lack of consistent and systematic data benchmarking benefits of green building, in particular as regards IEQ and the effects on humans. Health, comfort and work performance outcomes are more difficult to quantify than the effects on energy. As a result, it may be expected that credits for IEQ in the schemes be traded with other credits. If so, although claimed to have an outstanding IEQ as compared with conventional buildings (Lee, 2011), the green building do not have to necessarily meet this postulation. Quite limited numbers of credits for enhancing IEQ offered by the schemes will certainly not very much help that the high IEQ is guaranteed. The present paper surveyed literature on green buildings to examine whether there is any systematic evidence that these buildings outperform conventional buildings as regards IEQ either through actual IEQ measurements, subjective assessments made by occupants and/or objectively and self-estimated work performance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Indoor Air 2014
Number of pages3
PublisherInternational Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate
Publication date2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event13th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate - University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 7 Jul 201412 Jul 2014
Conference number: 13


Conference13th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate
LocationUniversity of Hong Kong
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
CityHong Kong
Internet address


  • IEQ
  • Green building
  • Productivity
  • Comfort
  • Performance


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