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The impact of a ‘green’ building on employees’ physical and psychological wellbeing


Multiple claims and some empirical findings suggest that ‘green’ buildings should be healthier (psychologically and physically) and promote greater productivity than conventional buildings. The empirical evidence in this regard over the last decade or so has been inconclusive suggesting either that the studies are flawed or that there are specific aspects of green buildings that promote wellbeing and productivity and others that do not. This study looks at a longitudinal comparison of two groups; a group that moved into South Africa’s first GreenStar-accredited building and a group that did not. Measures were taken before the move and six months later. Results demonstrated that the ‘green’ building did not produce significantly better physical or psychological wellbeing, or higher perceived productivity. These results are discussed in relation to suggestions for what design features to focus on that may produce significant results.