NEW YORK — Building owners, developers, managers, and investors in the U.S. are increasingly interested in creating healthier buildings, according to a new SmartMarket Report by Dodge Data & Analytics, in partnership with Delos.

The report, “The Drive Toward Healthier Buildings 2016,” shows that the design and construction industry in the U.S. is poised for wider adoption of building practices that prioritize the physical, mental, and social well-being of tenants and occupants. The study also finds that the owners of such buildings are already starting to see business benefits, such as increased leasing rates and higher asset values.

Strong owner interest is likely to increase the engagement of design and construction professionals, says the report, even as the industry continues to gather data on the business and financial benefits of investing in healthier building practices.

“The increased attention to building health impacts is just beginning,” said Stephen A. Jones, senior director of industry insights at Dodge Data & Analytics. “In a similar way several years ago, companies engaged in green construction because of the demonstrable business and financial benefits they were able to achieve. The findings of this report demonstrate that the focus on buildings that enhance the health and well-being of their occupants is likely to follow a similar trajectory, boosted by those who have committed to sustainability in their organizations.”

The top five healthier building features in use currently include products that enhance thermal comfort, better lighting/daylighting exposure, enhanced IAQ, spaces that enhance social interaction, and products that enhance acoustical comfort. Use of nearly all of these is expected to grow considerably along with further pioneering approaches like the use of biophilic design features, such as natural materials, natural light, etc.

Paul Scialla, Delos founder and CEO, said, “By focusing on people in design, construction, operations, and development decisions, we have an unprecedented opportunity to drive innovation, add significant economic value to real estate assets, generate savings in personnel costs, and enhance the human experience.”

Additional highlights from the report include:

• More than half of owners do not know the impact of their healthy building investments on business benefits like leasing rates and asset values. However, among those that report an impact, 73 percent report faster rates and 62 percent report higher values.

• Sixty-nine percent of owners that measure employee satisfaction and engagement report improved satisfaction and engagement due to their healthier building investments.

• Forty-two percent of building owners believe that more research on design/construction approaches that positively impact health is a top driver, and 40 percent are seeking research on productivity benefits.

The full study, “The Drive Toward Healthier Buildings 2016: Tactical Intelligence to Transform Building Design and Construction SmartMarket Report,” is available here.

Publication date: 10/3/2016

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