Green occupants for green buildings: the missing link?

Max Paul Deuble*, Richard John de Dear

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    195 Citations (Scopus)


    Green buildings, often defined as those featuring natural ventilation capabilities, i.e. low-energy or free-running buildings, are now at the forefront of building research and climate change mitigation scenarios. This paper follows the results of recent post-occupancy evaluation (POE) surveys within two academic office buildings located in sub-tropical Sydney, Australia. Supplemented with an environmental attitudes questionnaire, based upon the New Ecological Paradigm [1]), it was found that occupant satisfaction levels on the POE were positively associated with environmental beliefs. Occupants with higher levels of environmental concern were more forgiving of their building, particularly those featuring aspects of green design, such as natural ventilation through operable windows. Despite their criticisms of the building's indoor environmental quality, the 'green' occupants were prepared to overlook and forgive less-than-ideal conditions more so than their 'brown' (non-green) counterparts. These results support the hypothesis that pro-environmental attitudes are closely associated with the stronger 'forgiveness factor' often observed in green buildings, but the question of causality remains moot.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)21-27
    Number of pages7
    JournalBuilding and Environment
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


    • forgiveness factor
    • green buildings
    • New Ecological Paradigm (NEP)
    • post-occupancy evaluation (POE)


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