According to a new study from the University of San Diego's Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate and CB Richard Ellis (CBRE), employees who work in "green" buildings are more productive than those who work in nongreen buildings. (Researchers defined green buildings as those that are certified at any level by Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) or those that bear the Energy Star label.)

The study — the largest of its kind, including 154 green buildings and 534 participants — used two measurements of productivity: sick days and the self-reported productivity percentage change after moving into a new building.

Regarding sick days, 45 percent of the respondents reported experiencing an average of 2.88 fewer sick days at their new, green office location compared to their previous nongreen office location. An equal amount noted no effect while 10 percent reported more sick days. The 10 percent that reported more sick days were residents of Energy Star-labeled, not LEED-certified buildings, the later of which includes air quality requirements.

On the self-reported productivity measure, more than half of respondents either "strongly agreed" (12 percent) or "agreed" (42.5 percent) that employees were more productive in green buildings; 45 percent noted no change in productivity.

Click here (pdf) for the full report.