Economic implications of access to daylight and views in office buildings from improved productivity

Piers MacNaughton, May Woo, Brandon Tinianov, Mohamed Boubekri, Usha Satish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Previous research has found significant impacts of daylight and views on the cognitive function of office workers. In this study, we use scores on decision-making performance to estimate the annual economic potential of optimizing daylighting and views in U.S. offices. Cognitive scores were compared against over 100,000 previous test scores to obtain the distributional shift in cognitive performance when working in an office with optimized daylighting and views as opposed to an office with traditional blinds. These changes in performance were then compared to compensation data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Office workers shifted on average from the 52nd percentile to 65th percentile, equivalent to a $11,809 difference in salary per person per year. When conservatively accounting for the number of employees working within 15 ft of a window with blinds, optimizing daylight and views in U.S. offices has the potential to generate $352B ($240B–$464B), or 1.7% of the 2018 U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), in additional productivity. These findings suggest that building developers, architects and tenants should give additional attention to daylight design and façade technology as they consider new building construction, renovation and leasing options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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