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Sustainable workplaces and building user comfort and satisfaction

Andrew Smith (School of Built and Natural Environment, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)
Michael Pitt (Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, University College London, London, UK)

Journal of Corporate Real Estate

ISSN: 1463-001X

Article publication date: 13 September 2011




This paper aims to examine the role of sustainable buildings in providing healthy workplaces in physical and perceptual terms.


The paper takes the form of a literature review, considering the history of sustainable development in the built environment and its rationale, then widening the scope to consider sustainable, healthy and productive workplaces.


Sustainable construction has focused on environmental sustainability but this may have contributed to improved health, satisfaction and wellbeing amongst building users. Sick building syndrome and poor indoor air are contributory factors to ill health and reduced productivity but this paper suggests that sustainable building practices will reduce these effects, improving the quality of buildings for their occupants.

Practical implications

This paper argues that building performance measures need to take account of people factors such as employee perceptions and also that the design of workplaces should be regarded as a strategy for productivity enhancement. Management issues should be considered in the design of workplaces. The paper concludes that further research is required into the role of sustainable construction in providing healthy buildings.


The paper makes practical suggestions for corporate real estate and facilities management teams as well as those involved in the design of the buildings. Additionally, it opens suggested avenues for further academic research.



Smith, A. and Pitt, M. (2011), "Sustainable workplaces and building user comfort and satisfaction", Journal of Corporate Real Estate, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 144-156.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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