Costs and benefits of IEQ improvements in LEED office buildings
Journal of Infrastructure System, Volume 17, Issue 2.
Costs and benefits resulting from improved indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified buildings are often hypothesized; however, the precise quantification of such costs and benefits remains a challenge. This research examined the incremental hard and soft costs of realizing IEQ improvements in LEED office buildings and related benefits to occupant well-being and productivity using a case study approach. Self-reported well-being and productivity data were collected by surveying employees occupying conventional offices compared to similar data upon their move to LEED offices. These pre- and postmove findings were analyzed using the life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) framework to calculate the potential economic gains of IEQ improvements to the organizations. The results indicate economically viable investments in LEED-IEQ credits and offers directions for future research. These preliminary findings may assist building owners/investors/policymakers in making better-informed building decisions towards IEQ improvements in buildings from the economic perspective of sustainability.