By Moe Fakih, Vice President

Both buildings and people affect the bottom line. Wellness programs maximize both.

Business owners are becoming increasingly aware of employee desires for high quality work spaces. In order to attract and retain talent, owners are increasingly faced with early design considerations such as lengthy lease terms, amenities, adaptable work areas, and the maximization of daylight.

Owners must concern themselves with not only workforce/market adaptations but changing codes, long term operating costs, and whether a project will lease or sell quickly. In addition to these concerns, implementing design demands within another third party rating system may cause an owner to receive red tape shock or imagine a hemorrhaging of project budget.

This is where VCA Green delivers critical value. We eliminate the guess work to mandatory codes and voluntary standards while focusing on the client’s budgetary goals. We understand owners want to differentiate their assets in an increasingly competitive market, and we also understand that project budgets drive design decisions.

However, for long-term building owners or companies seeking long-term leases, a strategic design approach that considers employee engagement within an energy efficient building could offset initial construction costs in an environment where work force values, energy codes, and market demands are impacting budgets.

So what’s the connection between employee satisfaction and green building? According to the US Workplace Survey from the Gensler Design + Performance Index, 90% of employees admitted that their attitude about work is adversely affected by the quality of their workplace environment. In response to this, 84% of U.S. based companies plan to increase health and productivity program support over the next 2 years according to the Gallup Organization.

According to the International WELL Building Institute:

  • 20% and 25% of wages – direct healthcare costs and productivity lost respectively to presenteeism.
  • 90% of operating costs go towards salary and benefits and 90% of our time is spent indoors.
  • $153 billion in lost productivity – cost to US businesses due to unhealthy employees.
Health, wellbeing, and productivity in offices are the next chapter for green buildings. To address these changing trends, VCA Green is now providing the WELL Building Standard to clients who not only seek to enhance a building’s energy performance, but to enhance worker productivity and employee retention as well.

Measures in the standard impact both building performance and/or worker productivity:

  • Limited fresh air in office spaces drives up carbon monoxide levels causing workers to feel tired and less productive
  • Inadequate access to natural light or improper light levels hinder the ability to perform critical tasks
  • Excessive light levels and lack of tuning/dimming increases operating costs and are a nuisance for all employees
  • Sedentary work stations, lack of physical activity, and lack of healthy food options impact payroll costs

These factors contribute to lower levels of information retention, happiness, and ultimately employee performance.

Utilizing our deep knowledge in building energy performance, heating/cooling, and lighting controls, we ensure that your return-on-investment on energy efficiency design is met while delivering a program that helps improve employee satisfaction within the work place.

Addressing current codes and standards can help projects move closer to utilizing the WELL Building Standard™. To assess budgetary costs, it’s important to understand which WELL measures are being addressed by code and current design and then assess project costs based on wellness goals.

WELL Building Standard™ categories include:
Want to Know More About the WELL Building Standard? 
VCA Green is available to introduce you to the benefits of WELL certification and review strategies for increasing the value of real estate assets. If you would like more information on this standard, please contact Moe Fakih, Vice President – | 714.363.4700