University of Kentucky

Poster Title

Adapting to "Green" Workspaces in an Open-Floorplan Building

Institution

University of Kentucky

Abstract

In 2000, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) created a framework for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED), a certification system for measuring “green” construction and sustainability practices in building design (U.S. Green Building Council, 2011). The Davis Marksbury building opened in the spring of 2011 as the University of Kentucky’s first LEED-certified building. It houses a cross-disciplinary team of people from many areas of study (computer science, engineering, psychology, education, decision and information sciences, language, art and media). However, the openness of the workspaces, in conjunction with the “green” features has lead to some challenges for the people who work in the building. The focus of this investigation was to better understand how the architectural layout and energyefficiency features of the building affect the productivity and satisfaction of the building’s occupants and visitors. To comply with LEED requirements, many of the controls for the lights, doors and thermostats are automatic and controlled from a centralized computing system. For the next several months, data was being collected through 1) interviews with students, staff and faculty, 2) observations of people, and 3) the building’s computer. The study’s goal was to understand how people adapt to the new building and to make specific recommendations for changes that may increase the productivity and overall satisfaction of the people in the building, without sacrificing energy efficiency, collaborative freedom or environmental control. While these recommendations are tailored for the Marksbury Building and the University of Kentucky, they will be generalizable to other settings.

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Adapting to "Green" Workspaces in an Open-Floorplan Building

In 2000, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) created a framework for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED), a certification system for measuring “green” construction and sustainability practices in building design (U.S. Green Building Council, 2011). The Davis Marksbury building opened in the spring of 2011 as the University of Kentucky’s first LEED-certified building. It houses a cross-disciplinary team of people from many areas of study (computer science, engineering, psychology, education, decision and information sciences, language, art and media). However, the openness of the workspaces, in conjunction with the “green” features has lead to some challenges for the people who work in the building. The focus of this investigation was to better understand how the architectural layout and energyefficiency features of the building affect the productivity and satisfaction of the building’s occupants and visitors. To comply with LEED requirements, many of the controls for the lights, doors and thermostats are automatic and controlled from a centralized computing system. For the next several months, data was being collected through 1) interviews with students, staff and faculty, 2) observations of people, and 3) the building’s computer. The study’s goal was to understand how people adapt to the new building and to make specific recommendations for changes that may increase the productivity and overall satisfaction of the people in the building, without sacrificing energy efficiency, collaborative freedom or environmental control. While these recommendations are tailored for the Marksbury Building and the University of Kentucky, they will be generalizable to other settings.