GreenBiz.com (06/17/15) Paladino, Tom
Green building trends increasingly focus sustainability strategies on engaging the building occupants, meeting their needs, and generating impacts that extend beyond the building walls. Baby boomers seeking to extend their professional and personal youth focus on healthy work places. Although up-and-coming millennials may not be as concerned with medical care as the previous generation, they do expect company leaders to provide a healthy workplace and encourage balance. The buildings themselves must reflect the company's commitment to wellness and balance, beyond holding yoga classes at lunchtime in an unhealthy environment. Many studies confirm that healthy buildings with day lighting, fresh air, and non-toxic materials increase productivity and employee satisfaction. To succeed in creating a healthy working environment, companies need to embrace strategies that have the most positive impact and their employees must actively participate in those strategies. Engagement strategies include holding early stakeholder meetings, providing robust education and training programs, creating multiple communication touch-points, as well as apps, dashboards, and displays that demonstrate real-time operations and the benefits to occupants. Engaging occupants in sustainability and wellness efforts helps attract and retain talent. Building designers and business will continue to focus on building features that help people thrive and contribute to business results.