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Time Indoors


People in the U.S. spend about 90% of their time indoors.

Source: Environmental Protection Agency (1987). The Total Exposure Assessment Methodology (TEAM) Study.


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Guiding Principles

The Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings are a set of sustainable principles for integrated design, energy performance, water conservation, indoor environmental quality, materials, and climate change adaptation aimed at helping Federal agencies and organizations:

  • Reduce the total ownership cost of facilities
  • Improve energy efficiency and water conservation
  • Provide safe, healthy, and productive built environments
  • Promote sustainable environmental stewardship

Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings and Associated Instructions

Determining Compliance with the Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings

Occupant Satisfaction

A primary goal of sustainable design is to maximize occupant comforst and satisfaction, while minimizing environmental impact and costs. Comforst and satisfaction are important for many reasons, not least of which is that they correlate positively with personal and team performance. The greater the satisfaction, the higher the productivity and creativity of an organization. It has also been demonstrated that occupant satisfaction impacts staff rentention.

Views (to the Outside)

Building occupants with access to outside views have an increased sense of well-being. Keeping employees happy and healthy is good for business, as happy employees show higher productivity and increased job satisfaction, resulting in less employee turnover. In order to provide equitable access to views, it is recommended that private offices are located toward the core of the space and that low workstation panels are installed to allow for maximum daylight penetration. Use glass walls and partitions to enable views out from interior spaces.

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Did You Know?

Indoor contaminants such as dust mites, molds, cockroaches, pet dander, secondhand smoke and some chemicals can trigger asthma attacks. One in 11 children and one in 12 adults suffer from asthma.

Source: Asthma’s Impact on the Nation (2012): Data from the CDC National Asthma Control Program

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Case Study

Flexible Workplace Design

AWL Workstations

Today’s workplaces are often in flux. Organizations change direction or develop new services. People move to new spaces and take on new responsibilities. Teams form and re-form. The spaces themselves are transformed to meet these new needs. These changes are much easier to accommodate, when the workplace design supports flexibility.

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