Office worker

Buildings consume more than a third of the energy used in the U.S., so designing energy-efficient homes and offices is important for the climate. It can also help make people healthier, happier, and more productive.

“All the things that we push to make a building green have all of these built-in health benefits that need to be discussed and highlighted,” says Lauren Hildebrand of Steven Winter Associates, a sustainability consulting firm.

She says a well-sealed and insulated building reduces the need for heating and cooling, and it helps block outdoor air pollutants.

Other green building approaches, like using more natural light, can support mental health and focus.

In a business setting, that can all add up to better employee wellness, retention rates, and performance.

'Ninety percent of the value of businesses are actually people.' Click To Tweet

“Ninety percent of the value of businesses are actually people,” Hildebrand says, “meaning, you know, salary, health, wellness.”

So building design can drive profitability. A recent industry report estimates that high-performance buildings can help companies net over $3,000 more per employee each year.

That’s on top of any energy savings. So designing buildings for people – and the planet – can pay off.

Reporting credit: Daisy Simmons/ChavoBart Digital Media.