The office of the future will be the stuff of science fiction where smart buildings adapt to human needs by predicting and optimising its operations and needs through IoT.
I am often asked how incorporating green initiatives in commercial buildings affect the workers and office spaces, as well as the environment.
Did you know that 40% of the world’s energy consumption comes from buildings? In Asia, standout green developments include 7&9 Tampines Grande in Singapore which features hybrid parking lots, a roof garden and solar power technology; and the State BankInstitute Of Consumer Banking in Hyderabad, India, which features rainwater harvesters and40-kilowatt capacity solar panels providing sustainable electricity. These are just a few examples of how office buildings have been undergoing significant changes in recent years.
Technology, climate change, urbanisation, and increasing energy consumption are driving the need to upgrade office facilities and building design. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy estimates that commercial buildings could save up to US$60billion by increasing energy efficiency systems by just 1-4%!
Research supports that green building encourages work productivity due to positive effects on health and comfort. A recent 2018 study by Harvard University revealed a link between air quality and work performance. Participants who were placed in a simulated office environment performed poorly on cognition tests as a result of being exposed to random concoctions of organic compounds such as dust, carpet and surface cleaners when compared to participants working in a green certified setting.
According to the World Green Building Council, measures such as improving air quality, natural lighting and introducing greenery, can have a dramatic impact by improving productivity, reducing absenteeism and staff turnover.