The Property Industry is now turning its focus on assessing buildings for the reason we build them…to provide a healthy and productive space for people to work in, day-in, day-out, for the majority of their lives.
Links between the indoor environment and productivity have been well established, though notoriously difficult to quantify and measure. Fisk and Rosenfeld (1997) provided the first broad review in the U.S. of the potential to improve both health and productivity through improvements in indoor environments. Subsequent to this the CSIRO published a figure of $12 billion in lost productivity due to poor indoor environments for Australia.
To put this in perspective, the major costs in any commercial office are the wages of the occupants. For example;
(Property Council of Australia, 2009)
QED Environmental Services has developed a methodology that combines measurement of the indoor environment and the assessment of the occupant productivity using internationally accepted Occupant Surveys.
The physical environment is quantified and assessed using measurements or observations;
The Occupant Survey results are compared to international databases (over 700 buildings since 1995) and also to an Australian/New Zealand dataset of around 60 buildings. Links between the Occupant Surveys and the Indoor Environment are then investigated with the findings reflecting the influence of the building and its management on occupant productivity.
Applications for Productivity Assessment include;
QED Environmental Services are a Project Partner in an Australian Study Greening the Built Environment, Design and Performance Assessment of Commercial Green Buildings, investigating the relationship between selected green design elements and actual performance, and also measures to improve health and productivity of the occupants. Sustrainable Built Environment National Research Centre, Curtin University and Queensland University of Technology are the project leaders.