Occupant Education Key to Green Building Success

Dovetail Partners Shares Green Building Survey Results


A survey conducted by Dovetail Partners has revealed that while overall green building satisfaction is high, continued occupant education is important for achieving the best results in certified green buildings.


The survey, conducted in late 2008, aimed to determine what if any changes in green practices or materials have been made after a green building is occupied.  Instead of focusing on energy performance and utility bills, a questionnaire was used to determine the occupant’s level of satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with specific green building attributes and materials. The results help identify which products are likely to be changed over time. Building projects included in the survey were built in Minnesota and had achieved certification through at least one green building program.


“We learned that a lack of education at some level was a common factor for any kind of dissatisfaction,” says Alison Lindburg, director of Dovetail’s Eco-Affordable Housing Program. “An occupants' manual is useful, but only if the occupants understand they should be referring to it.”


The survey concluded that more education to contractors and manufacturers could also increase satisfaction with materials used in green building projects.  The results provide information on which features are commonly used in green buildings, which green attributes could use improvement, and what features may determine the overall likeability and success of green products.


The results of the survey are available in the report Satisfaction with Certified Green Buildings – An Inquiry of Building Occupants in Minnesota, now available online at the Dovetail website.


To access the full report, visit: