Health and productivity improvements are non-energy areas that can have large economic benefits for building occupants. These benefits are currently unaccounted for in energy efficiency project valuation methodologies. Leveraging buildings to achieve broader energy goals (demand reduction, smart buildings, building-grid integration) requires gaining knowledge and developing measurement of human outcomes, all while representing the best interests of building owners, occupants, and business owners.
The challenge is quantifying occupant benefits in the context of energy-efficiency decision-making. Existing studies on indoor environmental quality have not been fully translated to building-system design and operation. Building codes and standards primarily focus on the minimum requirements for comfort, public health, and safety rather than on support for optimal human outcomes. Moreover, interaction of building systems, diversity of existing installations, and complexity of human responses make it more challenging to apply healthy building strategies from one building to another.