Waypoint Workshop Presentation on the Value of Designing for the Occupant

Written by: Marta Schantz

On Monday September 12th, Waypoint Energy Manager Marta Schantz joined a number of academic, government, and industry experts at an NSF-funded workshop through the Center for Sustainably Integrated Buildings and Sites on the value of designing for the occupant.


There are many factors to consider when designing sustainable buildings (i.e. indoor environmental quality, comfort, health, productivity, energy, human behaviors, costs, etc.). Oftentimes, it is difficult to truly quantify the value of certain design strategies. Led by Julia Day, Assistant Professor at Kansas State University’s College of Human Ecology, the workshop’s intent was to better understand the relationship between each of the variables for sustainable building design and to start tackling the messy problem of defining the value of designing better buildings for occupants.


Marta spoke on the panel to provide a perspective from the professional practice/industry side of things. Joined by Charudatta Joshi from View Inc, Zubin Varghese from Ingersoll Rand, and Paul Torcellini from the NREL Commercial Buildings Research Group, Marta provided thought leadership on quantifying the qualitative values of designing for the occupant, both for the tenant of a commercial building and for its owner/manager as well. With no slides to lean on, the workshop emphasized the importance of conversation and discussion amongst all attendees to come together on the group’s common goal.


Waypoint is always interested in looking at the value of designing for the occupant, particularly when it comes to energy efficiency in the commercial real estate market. Potential values for the occupant include increased staff productivity, increased occupant happiness, reduced sick days, and longer staff tenure, while potential values for the building owner/manager include longer tenant lease lengths, lower building vacancy, fewer hot/cold calls, higher tenant satisfaction, higher rental rates, and higher asset value. To continue this discussion with Waypoint for your own portfolio, email us at info@waypoint-energy.com.