Do Your Building Occupants Come First

The goal of healthy, sustainable building design is to create structures that use resources efficiently and responsibly to lower costs, protect the environment, and leave the smallest carbon footprint possible throughout its lifecycle.

Furthermore, Green buildings use environmentally friendly materials, reduce waste and toxics, have good indoor air quality, and promote sustainable development within the community they are located in. 

While the environmental and economic advantages of owning and inhabiting a healthy building may be very evident, the social benefits and contributions to the well-being of tenants are also a substantial part of what makes these structures the new design standard. 


As the sustainable movement grows and its influence expands throughout the construction industry worldwide, it becomes more important to consider its benefits when constructing or remodeling a building. The growing ecological awareness of companies and individuals, and their desire for healthier environments affects the demands of building tenants.

Healthier Office Buildings

Employees are a company’s most valuable resource, and their ability to be productive highly depends on the work environment provided to them. The implementation of green construction methods provides employees with healthy environments that they can thrive in.


One of the most important elements at an office is lighting. Many offices try to recreate natural lighting with incandescent lightbulbs, but at the end of the day, there is no replacement for natural light. A healthy building will allow natural light to flow within the building for better employee performance and overall well-being.

Ventilation and Air Quality

Healthy offices have low concentration of carbon dioxide and other harmful compounds and emissions. Green buildings provide optimal ventilation systems that allow natural air flow and result in higher quality air, which is proven to increase employees’ cognitive scores by 101%.

Bringing the Outdoors Inside

Colors, textures, and designs that evoke nature have been proven to have a positive influence on employee wellbeing. This is due to the calming effect of plants and nature which are part of the elements of a green building.

Case Study: Saint-Gobain Call Center

A great example (from the World Green Building Council) of a healthy office building is the North American headquarters of the Saint-Gobain call center.

The company has experienced a 97% increase in sales-generated leads since moving into their new green building. In comparison with their previous building, this Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified office has a 25% increase in daylighting, 92% of its offices have views to the outdoors, and implements green and outdoor work spaces throughout its design. 


The temperature inside of a building significantly impacts occupants’ overall health. Well-insulated buildings can prevent illnesses and health issues from cold weather during winter, and avoid overheating during summer. This also results in lower energy bills.

Case Study:  Loudoun Road

This apartment building was designed to reduce its energy consumption and provide a better thermal environment through super-insulation and air-tightness. These features contributed to the stability of internal temperatures and decreased the demand for heating during winter, which significantly improved tenants’ health and saved both the building owner and tenants a considerable amount of money. 


Adhering to fire and safety codes can be a challenge, but specifying better, sustainable materials and products that also meet those codes can make the design process more complex.

By choosing Smoke Guard smoke-rated curtains for their design, the 400 Fairview building met LEED requirements and ensured the protection of building occupants inside. The 14-floor LEED Platinum building features plenty of sunlight, an airy and open atrium, and flexible floor plans. This healthy building required building materials and products that fit its sustainable design, and installed Smoke Guard’s M3000 horizontal curtains for protection in the atrium and light well areas. 

There are many reasons to build sustainably when constructing, remodeling or retrofitting your building, but one of the most important must be that the people who will be living or working in them have the best quality of life possible. Healthy buildings offer all-around benefits for both owners and occupants, so, if your occupants come first, going green is something to consider for your future projects.