FARMINGTON, Conn., April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- It's long been said that a happy worker is a more productive worker. But what goes into making workers happy? Several experts in the field of green building say the design of the building itself can contribute to boosting employees' moods, increasing productivity and aiding in employee retention.
"Green building is good business. Green building certifications attract tenants, employees, even students and help to keep them... People want to work in green buildings, and comfortable, happy workers are more productive workers," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council, who provided the keynote address titled "People, Planet and Performance" at the recent Carrier Global Engineering Conference in Las Vegas.
The event followed the theme "20/20 the Future in Focus: Rethink. Restore. Regenerate." and was sponsored by Carrier, the world's leader in high technology heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions, and a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).In addition to creating happy workers, green buildings result in life-cycle savings of 20 percent of the construction costs, according to Fedrizzi. Like Fedrizzi, the event's keynote speakers said there is a direct correlation between increased productivity and employees who love being in their work space. "People feel good when they feel connected to nature," said Robert F. Fox Jr., AIA, partner at Cook+Fox Architects and Terrapin Bright Green LLC, a leader in the green building movement and an advisor to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. Fox discussed his work at the Bank of America building in New York City during a luncheon address entitled "Biophilia: The Instinctive Bond between Humans and Nature," and said how a building feels - literally - can impact worker productivity. Providing plenty of access to daylight with floor to ceiling windows and using natural materials like stone, wood, leather and glass throughout the space are keys to "rethinking how we do buildings." With the number one complaint in buildings being the temperature – too hot or too cold – Fox said something as simple as providing employees with temperature control for their space can make a big difference.