Making it Easier to be Green
Green design includes energy conservation, but that's not what it's all about. It's about having good air quality both indoors and outdoors, making the environments in which we work, live, study and play healthier and more comfortable and conserving all of our natural resources.
This site will provide a balanced, holistic view that includes advice about saving energy, water and other natural resources, improving indoor air quality, using environmentally responsible design and construction techniques and minimizing waste.

I will be focusing on interiors for three reasons:

  • We spend about 90% of our time indoors.
  • Buildings in the United States annually consume about 30% of our total energy and 75% of our electricity.
  • As a New York State Certified Interior Designer and a LEED Accredited Professional, I want to share my knowledge and expertise with you.
Sustainable design and construction can be done in many different styles and using a wide variety of materials. There are examples of healthy, sustainable, comfortable and inviting interiors for commercial, not-for-profit and residential clients on the web site for Interior Design Solutions.
You can use the labels on the sidebar to locate entries that you want to read. For instance, most people might want to look at the entries for "Green Homes," but "Green Finance" would be of more interest to professionals involved in the design, construction, management, financing and marketing of buildings.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence

During a conversation about the impact of indoor environmental quality on employee productivity, someone I know said "All of the evidence is anecdotal."  But when there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence linking improved indoor environmental quality to reduced absenteeism, the odds are that the correlation does have significance.

Using absenteeism to evaluate the impact of indoor environmental quality on productivity is like using fatalities to evaluate car safety. In both cases, only the most extreme impacts are considered.

Often people continue to work while suffering from respiratory problems, itchy or teary eyes, headaches and other symptoms associated with poor indoor air quality, but that their performance could probablly be improved if they felt better.

The most commonly accepted theories on individual job performance posit that it depends upon on three factors:
  • Declarative Knowledge - Knowing What to Do
  • Procedural Knowledge - Knowing How to Do It
  • Motivation - Choice to Expend Effort
Indoor environmental quality can impact all of these factors.  Healthy and pleasant office environments can have a positive impact on employee recruitment, retention, and morale.

There is a growing body of empirical evidence that indoor environmental quality affects health and performance. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is developing a data base of scientific research with funding support from the EPA. Here's a link to that site:
Indoor Air Quality Resource Bank