Commercial buildings consume 17% of the total energy consumed in the United States. By creating buildings that use less energy and have lower power demands, greater robustness of the buildings (as well as the power grid) is achieved. This reduces the need for fossil fuels and consequential environmental impact.
Benefits of whole-building design include:
- reduced energy use by 50% or more;
- reduced maintenance and capital costs;
- reduced environmental impact;
- increased occupant comfort and health; and
- increased employee productivity.
Employee productivity and business profitability are linked. Recent studies have shown an increase in employee productivity when buildings are designed with occupants in mind—natural light, comfortable temperatures, and a quiet work environment is their most important issues. Research suggests that a well-designed workplace can increase employee productivity by 20%. Furthermore, studies also show that a pleasant indoor building environment helps attract desirable tenants for building owners, increasing the number of potential renters for a building.