Strengthening Taiwan's Green Building Certification System from Aspects of Productivity and Energy Costs to Provide a Healthier Workplace
This study estimates the relationship between poor indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and the increasing labor costs in green buildings in Taiwan. Specifically, poor performance of IEQ including HVAC, lighting, and indoor air quality, influences the health and well-being of occupants and leads to worse productivity, ultimately causing increased personnel cost. In Taiwan's green building certification (GBC) system, the energy-savings category is mandatory while the IEQ category is only optional.
... It means that certified building cases may not reach the expected level in IEQ. Thus, this study reviews the thermal environment, indoor air quality (IAQ), and illumination performances of IEQ-certified and non-IEQ-certified buildings in 20 green buildings. Building energy and IEQ simulations were conducted to analyze the relationships between indoor comfort, energy cost, and personnel cost in green buildings. The results show that IEQ-certified green buildings averagely perform better than non-IEQ-certified ones in the aspects of IEQ and building costs. Besides, 3 of 13 non-IEQ-certified green buildings undertake extremely high additional expenditure for the poor IEQ. The results correspond to some previous findings that green-certified buildings do not necessarily guarantee good building performance. This study further inspects the pros and cons of Taiwan's GBC system and proposes recommendations against its insufficient IEQ evaluation category. As the trade-off of energy-saving benefits with health and well-being in green buildings has always been a concern, this study aims to stimulate more quantitative research and promote a more comprehensive green building certification system in Taiwan.