Developing Healthier Buildings

    For decades, building sustainability has been steadily increasing with popularity and with that comes the debate of the method’s benefits to the industry. Given that buildings account for 40 percent of energy consumption nationwide, energy efficiency is a major focus for contractors but what about occupant health?

    At Leon Williams Contractors, we understand that not all commercial construction projects are created equally and some have multiple factors to consider. When you take into account occupant health, buildings such as medical facilities, office complexes, and educational establishments should require a different design-build approach than say a warehouse or factory. More and more business owners, especially those in East Tennessee, are recognizing that increasing the healthiness of their buildings can have a positive impact on not only the people inside, but revenue as well.

    According to a recent study by McGraw Hill Construction, interest in occupant health is growing in popularity with an industry-wide commitment to provide healthy buildings and remove the disconnect owners and contractors have with these ideas. Of the industry professionals surveyed for the study, 75 percent measured the impact of construction decisions on occupant health. To them, healthy buildings have caused an indicated 47 percent reduction in health-care costs, a 21 percent improvement in occupant productivity, a 66 percent higher employee satisfaction and engagement rate, and a 56 percent reduction in absenteeism. Given these statistics, it should be clear that placing an emphasis on building and occupant health is very important for overall productivity but what some are not entirely sure about are the factors involved.

    While the surface would indicate building owners and workforces are the ones who benefit from healthier construction, it’s the contractors who are ultimately responsible for these outcomes. By being aware of how important certain factors such as natural ventilation, access to proper lighting, better HVAC systems & filters, and even acoustical comfort are to occupant well-being, a commercial contractor can design a building constructed for true efficiency and gain an edge in a competitive market.

    Share Button