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Health Benefits Predicted to Increase Green Building in Australia

Posted by LNA Master Landscapers Association on 20 May 2016

This article has been summarised from an article by Rebecca Holland published by 'Commercial RealEstate'. To read the full article click here.

 

Studies indicate that many Australians consider green building to be unaffordable but this attitude may be about to change due to some exciting new research conducted by Harvard, SUNY Upstate Medical and Syracuse Universities.

Their figures show that 42% of Australians believe the cost of green building to be so expensive as to be only viable for high-end projects. But despite this belief, Australians are very interested in the impact of buildings on health. In fact, Australians rank number 1 in the world in this interest according to a study conducted by Dodge Data and Analytics in their recent report, World Green Building Trends 2016.

Until now, both in Australia and overseas, the bulk of green building has been driven by a desire to improve energy efficiency and to reduce carbon emissions, with little focus on other health impacts. However, new research is showing that the value of green building is being way underestimated by this narrow focus and that the health benefits of green building could have major economic advantages.

This research conducted by Harvard, SUNY Upstate Medical and Syracuse Universities entitled 'The Impact of Green Building on Cognitive Function' has shown that improved air quality in buildings dramatically improves the cognitive functioning of occupants, particularly in the areas of decision making, crisis response and strategy. People in green buildings tested an average of 101% higher in these areas than those in conventional environments. The improved air quality in the green buildings was the result of improved ventilation, lower CO levels and lower levels of volatile organic compounds (usually produced by paints, adhesives and carpets).

It is predicted that this research and other studies like it will help to demonstrate the benefits of green building beyond energy usage reduction. Switched on businesses are likely to sit up and pay attention to these findings because the economic benefits of improved staff efficiency have enormous potential, quite apart from the altruistic motivations of improving employee health. These kinds of findings could well lead to continued growth in green building in Australia, given our high levels of interest in the health impacts of buildings, and the potential for higher efficiency and staff productivity could start to offset the perceived costs of green building.

Author: LNA Master Landscapers Association
Tags: Industry News

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