Determining adequate information for green building occupant training materials

Deborah Steinberg, Melissa Patchan, Christian Schunn, Amy Landis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


As knowledge of the built environment's impact on resource and energy use increases, industry leaders are moving toward a healthier, more sustainable solution by building green. Though green buildings have the ability to improve occupant health and productivity, it is not clear what impact the behaviors of building occupants have on the building. New systems and technologies in green buildings require building occupants to think and operate differently in their new green environment, otherwise risking not fully gaining the benefits of the new facility. The new behaviors necessary to the success of the green building are not necessarily obvious or trivial. They cannot simply be learned on-the-job; rather the transformation will require formal education. It likely requires changing attitudes and beliefs in addition to building a robust understanding of new procedures. This study sought to determine the amount of information necessary to change occupants' willingness to use new energy-efficient behaviors not followed in the conventional building. An empirical test comparing four versions of the same training, each with varying amounts and types of information was presented to three different populations: nursing staff of a green building, clinical staff of a green building, and nursing staff of a conventional building. Results show that knowledge of green building standards and the impact of energy saving behaviors are the information necessary to increase willingness to change behaviors. Also, staff members of the new, green building are more willing to change behaviors than staff of the conventional building.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-150
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Green Building
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Green building
  • LEED
  • Occupant behavior
  • Sustainable behavior
  • Workplace training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • General Environmental Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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