Indoor environment quality and work performance in “green” office buildings in the Middle East

Rana Elnaklah, Sukumar Natarajan, Daniel Fosas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (SciVal)


Globally, a primary concern is whether green office buildings perform as promised in terms of providing better indoor environment quality (IEQ) for employees, which may affect their satisfaction
and work performance. In the Middle East, although there has been renewed interest in green building design, post occupancy evaluation of performance has never been conducted to-date, and evidence of actual occupant perception in green and non-green buildings is still ambiguous.
Hence, we present the first study on IEQ performance in the Middle East. We show that Jordan can be taken as a representative example and systematically compare five “green” office buildings (representing 71% of all green-certified office buildings) against eight comparable conventional office buildings (CBs). Detailed bi-lingual survey data on perceived IEQ (n = 502) and work
performance are accompanied by high-resolution continuous physical measurements of air temperature + relative humidity (n = 83) and CO2 concentrations (n = 21) with periodic measurements
of mean radiant temperature and air speed, covering two typical summers and one typical winter.
Results show both buildings types comply with design standards for indoor CO2 levels, while thermal comfort in green buildings is better than in CBs. However, CBs have a higher overall occupant satisfaction of IEQ. Work performance measured as absolute and relative absenteeism was slightly higher in CBs, with no significant differences in relative and absolute presenteeism
between the two buildings types. These findings challenge the notion that green buildings improve occupant satisfaction and work performance over CBs and suggest the need for a better understanding of the performance–satisfaction gap.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043-1062
Number of pages20
JournalBuilding SImulation: An international Journal
Issue number5
Early online date22 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • Jordan
  • POE
  • green buildings
  • work performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Energy (miscellaneous)


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