FROM THE EDITOR
IS A PROUD MEMBER OF: nBUILDINGS
Greener Facilities Editor
Jesse H. Neal Award
Jesse H. Neal Award
2014, 2013, 2012,
2011, 2010, 2009
Best Publication and
Best How-to Article
BUILDINGS SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION RATES:
United States and its possessions: $70 for 1 year;
Canada, $85 (U. S. funds) for 1 year; all other foreign
countries, $125 surface mail for 1 year; $150 air mail
for one year. Extra and back copies (when available):
$8.00 each, shipping and handling included. Tear
sheets: $1.75 each. All orders must be PREPAID to:
BUILDINGS magazine, 615 Fifth St. SE, PO Box 1888,
Cedar Rapids, IA, 52406-1888. ATTN: Barb Schrafel,
800/553-8878, ext. 5017.
Copyright 2012, Stamats Communications.
For high-quality, customized
reprints, please contact
Stamats Marketing Services:
1-800-553-8878 ext. 5034
The Stamats headquarters
is a LEED Certified Silver
Volume 108 Number 10 BUILDINGS (ISSN 0007-3725) is published monthly by Stamats Communications 615 5th St. SE, PO Box 1888, Cedar Rapids, IA, 52406-1888;
(319) 364-6167. Periodicals Postage Paid at Cedar Rapids, IA, and at additional mailing office. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Buildings, PO Box 1888, Cedar Rapids, IA,
52406-1888. Publications mail agreement No. 41666041. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: PO Box 875, STN A, Windsor, ON, N9A 6P2.
A Publication of Stamats Buildings Media
VP, Group Publisher Tony Dellamaria
Chief Content Director Chris Olson
Senior Editor Janelle Penny
Senior Editor Jennie Morton
E-Content Editor Pete Campie
Art Director Elisa Geneser
Graphic Designer Evan Brownfield
For subscriptions, visit:
Buildings is a registered trademark owned by
Editorial Advisory Board
Christopher K. Ahoy President/CEO,
Performance Management Consulting
Steven R. Colvin Senior Vice President of
Property Management, Boston Properties LP
Michael Delev General Property Manager, Hines
Steve Fugarazzo Manager, Facilities Engineering,
Rod Stevens Principal Consultant,
Eric A. Woodroof Founder,
Let Occupants Drive Your
Energy efficiency and environmental impacts have long been cited as the main reasons for green building design. A lower utility bill is certainly attractive for any facility manager, but
there’s one area of sustainable operations that consistently gets shuffled to the side – occupant
It’s easy to overlook the human factor in green operations, particularly when it’s difficult to
quantify on a spreadsheet. How do you show that soft benefits such as occupant health,
engagement, and productivity are just as important as payback or ROI?
It’s all in how you make your case. Virtually every aspect of green operations can posi-
tively impact workers – the trick is making those connections clear to company leadership.
Those energy-efficient LEDs? Better lighting can decrease eye strain and headaches.
Need to replace office chairs? Go for ergonomic models and win big with employee
satisfaction. Switching out some harsh cleaning chemicals? You could improve indoor air
quality and reduce absenteeism.
You should also make these sustainable benefits clear to workers. A recent study
showed that occupant satisfaction in LEED buildings declines over time. In fact, only 12
months after certification, the happiness levels of employees in a green work environment
were the same as those in a traditional office space. While the authors suggest there are
likely discrepancies between design and operations, I have another theory to add – occupants
may simply be unaware of ongoing green efforts.
I routinely tour sustainable facilities and while organizations are proud to display a plaque or
dashboard in their lobby, I always spy additional opportunities to bring awareness to occupants
and guests alike.
On a recent building visit, for example, I pondered the soap provided in the restrooms – was
it free of potentially harmful ingredients such as triclosan, artificial dyes, or parabens? How far
does the soap travel before it reaches the facility? If the product has a green formula, is it
verified by a third party?
Granted, the soap in your bathroom is a small consideration, yet it’s also a part of your
operations that people engage with on a daily basis. Advertise your green efforts with small
signs, monthly newsletters, or yearly progress reports – occupants should know sustainability
is alive and well in your building.