Buildings are responsible for a quarter of global carbon emissions. In the developing world, the desire to reduce energy consumption initially resulted in the adoption of 'imported' standards such as LEED and BREEAM and, over time, the development of several 'localised' standards that either supplant or compete with the imported standards. However, such standards have often been implicated in the unintended consequence of reduced indoor air quality resulting from lowered ventilation rates, in turn affecting employee productivity and absenteeism. Here, we systematically review and compare the performance of office buildings built to the localised Jordanian Green Building Guide (JGBG) and the well-known international LEED standard. We measure building performance in terms of the indoor air quality (via CO
2 concentration) and occupant absenteeism during winter 2019. Results show that the JGBG building had a significantly lower mean indoor CO
2 concentration than the LEED building during working hours (p < 0.00). In addition, the occupants in the JGBG building reported 20% more working hours (p < 0.03) and approximately 9 hours less of absolute absenteeism. These initial results suggest that further development of localised codes is likely to bring greater benefit to the performance of building and occupants compared to imported standards.