Measuring the Productivity Impacts of Energy-Efficiency: The Case of High Efficiency Buildings - article in Cleaner Production by Dr. Chatterjee and Prof. Ürge-Vorsatz

September 10, 2021

Dr. Souran Chatterjee and Prof. Ürge-Vorsatz have recently published their research (based on the doctoral research of Souran) on measuring health and productivity impacts of the high-efficiency buildings at the Journal of Cleaner Production (Impact factor 9.279).

In this paper they show that high-efficiency buildings do not only save energy but also have multiple further impacts or co-benefits. These impacts are often excluded from the policy evaluation partly because their quantification and integration into cost-evaluations have challenges. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to develop a method to quantify labour productivity which is one of the key multiple impacts, as well as demonstrate the use of the method for calculating the productivity impacts of high-efficiency buildings.

The paper uses Germany and Hungary as examples to conduct the quantifications. The result of the study shows that high-efficiency buildings can result in substantial health and labour productivity benefits. Concretely, a German worker can gain 5.2 productive days a year, while a Hungarian 2.2 days by avoiding sick days, after living in high-efficiency buildings. Similarly, through high-efficiency retrofits or high-efficiency new constructions in the tertiary building sector, German and Hungarian workers can gain 2.4 and 1 productive days a year, respectively, by avoiding sick days. The monetary equivalent of the total number of days gained would be as high as 337 million and 7 million Euros/year only from the residential building sector, and 398 million and 3 million Euro/year from the tertiary building sector for Germany and Hungary respectively. In addition to the productive workdays gain, by avoiding mental stress, the German and Hungarian workforce can gain 95 and 2 million Euro respectively in a year by improving work performance from working in high-efficiency tertiary buildings. Furthermore, this paper shows that along with more workdays and improved work performance, both Germany and Hungary can gain 1870 and 3849 healthy life years/million population which is equivalent to 277 and 134 million Euros per year respectively.

The article is accessible free of charge till end of September via this link: