Sustainable Buildings Performance

Does sustainable design deliver? Applied Research evaluated 12 sustainably designed buildings in GSA’s national portfolio to find the answer.

The evaluation of these buildings was comprehensive—measuring environmental performance, financial metrics, and occupant satisfaction. No previous analysis had taken such a holistic view. The “Assessing Green Building Performance” study compared performance for the 12 buildings against industry standards for energy, water, maintenance and operations, waste, recycling, transportation, and occupant satisfaction metrics.

Results showed that sustainably designed buildings outperform the national average for buildings of their type by a substantial margin. The best performing buildings in the study were those that took a fully integrated approach to sustainable design.

Publication and selected articles for this study include the following:

  • “Assessing Green Building Performance: A Post Occupancy Evaluation of 12 GSA Buildings" Full Report [PDF - 11 MB] (GSA, March 2008)
  • ‘Assessing Green Building Performance: A Post Occupancy Evaluation of 12 GSA Buildings" White Paper [PDF - 828 KB] (GSA, July 2008)
  • "Green Design Nets Results, Study Shows [PDF - 71 KB]" (Federal Times, May 13, 2008)

Applied Research completed a second phase of the study. This phase included an additional 10 buildings that did not previously have a full year of post-commissioning data available. The study also collected a second year of data from several of the first group of buildings to allow for an apples-to-apples comparison. The final report, "Green Building Performance: A Post Occupancy Evaluation of 22 GSA Buildings [PDF - 7 MB]" (GSA, August 2011), is now available for download.

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