This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Sustainable Indoor Environment: Influences on Occupants’ Workplace Wellbeing on the Auburn University Campus




Ortlieb, Amber

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Consumer Affairs


Sustainable buildings are believed to provide superior health and comfort to their occupants. However, little empirical research has been conducted to verify this belief. The purpose of this study is to explore if the environmental sustainability of buildings influences occupants’ workplace wellbeing through its ability to enhance occupant health. Data were collected using (1) observations of three buildings at Auburn University (AU) certified to be sustainable through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification rating system and three non-LEED-certified AU buildings and (2) an online survey with a sample of 199 occupants of these building. Results indicate that as compared to the non-LEED-certified buildings, LEED-certified buildings provide a higher objective sustainable indoor environmental quality (IEQ), and their occupants are more satisfied with the IEQ. Further, occupants’ satisfaction with the indoor air quality and comfort factor of the IEQ enhanced their physical and psychological health, which in turn increased their workplace wellbeing. Further, occupants’ satisfaction with acoustics of their building directly influenced workplace wellbeing. This study contributes to the literature by generating empirical evidence for the relationship between sustainable IEQ of a building and its occupants’ health and workplace wellbeing.