Green Hotels Offer Surprising Benefits for Employees
By Taryn Holowka Senior VP of Marketing, Communications & Advocacy, U.S. Green Building Council | April 28, 2019
Many hotels are making sustainability a key focus – not only because they want to do their part in helping the environment but also to help make a better indoor environment for the employees and guests. There are many ways for hotels to make an impact – ranging from energy consumption, water usage, waste management, site selection, cleaning, staff training, and the list goes on. All of these activities are designed to improve the hotel, improve the conditions for occupants and employees, and also improve the community. Here are some of the more surprising benefits that green hotels can offer both employees and occupants:
Healthier Indoor Environmental Quality
Green hotels and those that are LEED certified offer a number of benefits related to the indoor environmental quality. Consequently, LEED has an entire credit category that focuses on the indoor environment, rewarding green building projects for applying strategies that prioritize human health and wellness. LEED addresses a broad range of issues related to occupant comfort, health and safety, which includes functional space layout, thermal comfort, indoor air quality (IAQ), lighting, acoustics, ergonomics and aesthetics.
Fresh air: LEED green buildings ensure that air is purified and well ventilated and has requirements in place for both ventilation and monitoring.
LEED also addresses the materials that are brought into the space and promotes the use of materials that give off fewer Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). As a rule of thumb, any time you can smell materials in the air, you are ingesting them! Low VOC paints and materials take harmful chemicals out of the supply chain thus having a tangible impact on the health of building's indoor air quality, improving the conditions inside for occupants. This was a difficult credit to achieve many years ago when the concept of green building was new. The increase in green buildings has allowed manufacturers to respond to the demand by increasing the supply of low-VOC paints and materials.
LEED requires product manufacturers to disclose the types of materials used in building products so that building owners can make the best choices when selecting products that will be used within the hotel or structure.
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