IAQ and thermal comfort among top three building features
By HPAC MagazineGreen Technology HVAC Systems Management CaGBC healthy buildings
A Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and Dodge Data & Analytics report released recently titled Healthier Buildings in Canada 2016: Transforming Building Design and Construction revealed new information about the factors influencing Canada’s building owners, architects, designers, contractors and public health professionals in their decisions for adopting healthier building practices and features.
The report was commissioned by CaGBC as a subset of a larger North American focused report released at the same time titled, The Drive Toward Healthier Buildings 2016: Tactical Intelligence to Transform Building Design and Construction SmartMarket Report.
Among its key findings, the report shows that business benefits are driving investments in healthier buildings. Nearly half of the Canadian commercial building owners surveyed say they are able to lease space more quickly in buildings with healthy features, and of the owners that report they see a positive impact on the value of their buildings with healthier practices, over one third see an increase of seven per cent or more.
When asked to rank the top goals for having healthier buildings, owners surveyed ranked improved tenant/employee satisfaction with the building and happier and healthier building occupants as their top two choices, showing that occupant comfort is also growing in consideration for owners and operators in Canada.
The top healthy building feature was improved indoor lighting conditions and daylighting, with 80 per cent of all respondents incorporating this feature. Rounding out the top three most popular features included, are products that enhance thermal comfort with 77 per cent, and enhanced indoor air quality with 75 per cent.
In addition to owners and designers, the study also surveyed public health professionals, and found that they are valuable allies in promoting healthier building research in Canada. The highest percentage (43 per cent) of those surveyed rank lower healthcare costs among the top three outcomes they expect from greater consideration of occupant health and well-being during design and construction.
The report Introduction and Executive Summary are available publically at www.cagbc.org/cagbcdocs/Smart_Market_Report_Final_Web_PUBLIC.pdf.