Incorporating Productivity Improvements Into Cost-Benefit Analyses of Lighting Features in the WELL Building Standard Version 2
CitationTaylor, Shaun. 2019. Incorporating Productivity Improvements Into Cost-Benefit Analyses of Lighting Features in the WELL Building Standard Version 2. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractWorkplace lighting has a significant impact on workers’ health, cognitive function and productivity at the office and at home. Lighting can either cost or save a business millions of dollars based on how it impacts worker performance. This thesis analyzes how various lighting conditions impact office workers, as part of an effort to develop a more accurate cost/benefit analysis for implementing each of the lighting features of the WELL Building Standard version 2 (WBSv2). The WBSv2 requires lighting and building design features that frequently exceed current standard building practices, leading to higher up-front capital expenditures. This study examines existing scientific literature to determine whether there is evidence indicating that lighting conditions prescribed in the WBSv2 are likely to lead to productivity improvements that will benefit employers. To determine realistic costs and benefits of implementing each feature, an existing office space was selected to serve as a model. If the model office did not automatically meet the requirements to earn a lighting feature, an analysis was performed to determine the costs necessary to achieve it. A variety of analyses were conducted on the model office space including computer simulations and in-person measurements. The analysis found compelling research indicating all but one of the eight lighting features are likely to pay for themselves as a result of increased productivity. The model office space automatically achieved 10 out of 14 points. To achieve the remaining available points would cost $303,133.00 dollars and these improvements would likely lead to an economic benefit of $1,146,222.78 per year due to increased worker productivity.
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