New Performance Measurement Criteria for High-Performance Buildings: People

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  • A recent report released by Stok provides commercial real estate owner-occupants and tenants with metrics to evaluate the financial impact of High-Performance Buildings (HPB) on occupants.
  • The study determines the financial outcome of HPBs in three key occupant impact areas namely: productivity, retention, and wellness.
  • The report highlights the financial value in designing a building for the occupant.

A recent report released by Stok, a company that provides value-aligned real estate services to developers, property owners, and corporations around the world, highlights the financial benefits of high-performance buildings for the owner-occupants and tenants.

There is no specific definition or checklist that defines a High-Performance Buildings (HPB’s). Buildings rating system LEED, the WELL Building Standard, the Living Building Challenge, BREEAM, CASBEE, Green Star and others all carry their own HPB requirements.

The US National Institute of Building Sciences’ High-Performance Building Council, defines ‘HPB’s which address human, environmental, economic, and total societal impact, are the result of the application of the highest level design, construction, operation, and maintenance principles’.

According the Stok, the essential design strategies for HPBs include, but are not limited to, indoor air quality and ventilation, thermal comfort, natural and artificial lighting attuned to circadian rhythms, noise and acoustics, active design, and views and biophilia (an innate and genetically determined affinity of human beings with the natural world).

The report highlights a remarkable oversight in HPB performance measurement which traditionally has concentrated on water and energy use, carbon emissions, indoor air quality plus social and environmental impact.

According to Stok, in annualizing the cost of a building, multiple reports show only 1% to 4% of the total price goes towards the initial design and construction. For the other costs, a company will spend 80% to 92% on people in the form of wages and benefits and 6% to 15% on operations and maintenance. It makes sense then to include a metric on people’s performance in HPB’s.

The report shows that because HPB’s enhance productivity, increase retention, and improve employee health and wellness, as well as cut operating expenses and improve resiliency, they bring in a larger return over the life of the investment.

The study reveals that there are clear metrics that show the correlation between high-performance workplaces and enhanced productivity, increased retention, and reduced absenteeism for employees. The question is no longer “How much do High-Performance Buildings cost?” it is “How much can my company benefit by working in a High-Performance Building?”

The challenge now is how to integrate the model into existing building management reporting systems.

Link to download the full report

Author: Bryan Groenendaal – GBA News Desk


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