Survey Shows US Office Buildings Lag in Green Performance

US office buildings have failed to keep pace with the revolution in automation, according to a new survey of American office workers by IBM (NYSE: IBM).

Nationwide, only 33% of workers rated their office buildings as "high" in terms of environmental
responsibility. And 65% say they would participate in the
redesign of the workspace in their office buildings to make them more
environmentally responsible.

Analysis of the survey results indicated
a number of other key nationwide findings related to how intelligent
buildings are in the U.S.:

  • 79% of respondents say that they
    conserve resources such as water or electricity as part of their regular
    routine at work.
  • 75% say they would be more likely to
    conserve resources at work if they were rewarded for the effort.
  • 31%  say their office buildings have low-flow toilets.
  • More than
    one quarter (26%) say that low emission and sustainable materials
    are used to promote improved indoor air quality in their office
    buildings.
  • 14% report that their office buildings make use of
    solar energy or another renewable energy source.

Los Angeles emerged as the clear winner in the IBM Smarter Buildings
study, which surveyed 6,486 office workers in 16 US cities on issues
ranging from office building automation and security to elevator
reliability and conservation issues.

Los Angeles was best or near-best in a number of key categories
surveyed. For example, LA had the highest percentage (40%) of
respondents who say their office buildings automatically sense when
people are in a room and adjust lights and temperature
accordingly–compared with the average of 27%. LA had the highest
percentage of respondents (22%) who say their office buildings make use
of renewable energy sources like solar. The average is 14%. LA had the
highest percentage of respondents (35%) who indicate that products
promoting improved air quality (such as low VOC paint and sustainable
carpet as well as bio-based cleaning fluids) are used in their
buildings.

LA also holds the top spot on the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA)’s list released last month that called out
cities with the most Energy Star labeled buildings. LA had 293 of them
in 2009, equaling $93.9 million in cost savings and prevention of
emissions equivalent to the impact of 34,800 homes.

IBM’s Smarter Buildings Index is comprised of 10 issues: elevator wait times, Internet access, badge access, lights turning off automatically in the evening, presence of sensors that adjust lights and temperature when people enter and leave rooms, use of renewable energy sources, low-flow toilets, use of air-friendly products, respondents opinion of how environmentally-friendly building is, respondents desire to participate in building redesign.

The complete report is available at the link below.

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