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“LEED”ing Green Design- Part 2

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It’s what you’ve been waiting for! In this, Part 2 of the “LEED”ing Green Design blog series, we will begin to take a closer look at the various ways a green or “LEED” design approach can benefit our clients.

One of the easiest and often overlooked ways to incorporate green design is through the implementation of indoor environmental control systems to improve the quality of the lighting and thermal systems of a building.  LEED groups these systems under a series of credits known as the Indoor Environmental Quality credits (IEQ).  The IEQ credits include things such as programmable lighting, thermal comfort systems, day lighting, and views of the exterior.  LEED created these standards “to provide comfort, well-being, and increase the productivity of the building’s occupants.”  Studies have found not only can these credits create a greener building, but they can actually improve occupant health, productivity, and in turn improve a company’s profit.

Research has shown that employees who are more comfortable in their environment are more efficient and productive at their jobs.  In addition, a thermally comfortable space may help control moisture issues which can lead to mold growth or worse the presence of bacteria and viruses.  Avoiding such hazards keeps employees healthier and they use less sick time.

It isn’t hard to understand why day lighting and views of the exterior are important components to green design.  Day lighting will reduce the energy load from unnecessary lighting, and views to the exterior bring the “green” world around a building into the interior.  What you might not realize is that employees who have a day lit space with visual connection to the outdoors are often more attentive, creative, and sometimes can even be better problem solvers.  These are all major benefits to a company.

So when considering some of the LEED credits, it is important to take into account what achieving that credit may do for the environment, your company, and even your employees health and well being!