Employees working in green buildings (defined as being LEED-certified at any level or bearing the Energy Star label) are more productive than those working in non-green buildings, according to a study by the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate and real estate services company CB Richard Ellis. Researchers surveyed more than 500 tenants in 154 green buildings managed by CBRE nationwide. The majority of the buildings surveyed were midtown or suburban, and 94 percent of them were multi-tenant. Under the microscope across the board: employee measured sick days and self-reported productivity changes after moving into a new building.

Forty-five percent of the survey’s respondents reported taking an average of 2.88 fewer sick days at the new, green office, while an equal amount noted no effect. Ten percent, all of whom were residents of Energy Star-labeled buildings but not LEED-certified spaces, reported more sick days. The study calls for further research on this 10 percent to examine why more sick time was noted. Also of note in the results: Twelve percent of respondents strongly agreed that employees are more productive in a more sustainable space and 42.5 percent agreed that workers were more productive, while 45 percent noted no change in productivity.

The full study is online at usdrealestate.com.