The importance of ergonomics to sustainability throughout a building's life cycle

Linda Miller, EWI Works International Inc.
Julie Dorsey, Ithaca College
Karen Jacobs, Boston University


Protecting and conserving environmental resources is a global concern. Over the past decade, a number of certification processes have emerged to help designers and operators of buildings assess the potential impact of a building on the environment. Certifications such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) consider the environmental impact through the lifecycle of a building, but may not be considering the people that construct and utilize it. It is important to remember the human factor. Considering the human factor throughout the lifecycle is crucial to ensure individuals are protected during construction and in operation in the built environment. The paper highlights how ergonomics can be integrated into the life cycle of a building to promote sustainability goals for both the human factor and the environment. A case study approach will be used to illustrate how ergonomics was integrated into a LEED renovation and expanded into its daily operations on a large university campus.. © 2012 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.