According to a new sponsored study conducted by a team of researchers at Harvard University, green buildings have the potential to deliver billions of dollars’ worth of social and health benefits beyond those associated with the more obvious benefit of reduced energy consumption. In the business world this provides an even greater asset, as the associated health benefits are sure to have a positive effect on the happiness and productivity of the workforce.

In conducting the study the researchers examined a subset of green-certified buildings over a 16-year period in six countries, namely the United States, China, India, Brazil, Germany, and Turkey, ultimately identifying almost $6 billion in combined health and climate benefits.

In some countries health and climate benefits actually exceeded energy savings in terms of dollar value. In total the report surmises that some 33,000 kilotons of CO2 were avoided; the equivalent of 7.1 million fewer passenger cars on the road for one year. All-in-all this equates to a staggering $4.4 billion in estimated public health benefits.

Of course this is all without taking into account the $7.5 billion in energy savings provided the by green buildings involved in the study, all of which were LEED certified and thus represent the upper echelon of eco-friendly design.

Dr Joseph Allen, the Assistant Professor of Exposure Assessment Science and Director of the Healthy Buildings program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health who led the research, commented, “The energy savings of green buildings come with a massive public health benefit through associated reductions in air pollutants emitted. We developed the Co-benefits of the Built Environment (CoBE) calculator in this study as a tool that people can use for understanding the health impacts of building portfolios, investments and building strategies. The decisions we make today with regard to buildings will determine our current and future health.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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