Search Results for: productivity green building

Government urged to reinstate zero carbon buildings pledge

Government urged to reinstate zero carbon buildings pledge

Green promiseMore than 200 businesses from the construction, property and renewable energy industries have written to the Chancellor to reconsider the Government’s decision last week to abandon plans to introduce zero carbon buildings. In an open letter to the Chancellor, senior leaders from 246 organisations warn that the policy U-turn has “undermined industry confidence in Government” and will “curtail investment in British innovation and manufacturing”. In the Chancellor’s productivity plan “Fixing the foundations”, George Osborne unexpectedly axed the policy designed to ensure that all new homes built from 2016 meet zero carbon standards – together with a sister policy that applied to all new non-residential buildings such as offices, schools and hospitals from 2019.

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Three ways in which the business case for green building design is moving on

Three ways in which the business case for green building design is moving on

ODD 02The case for sustainable building design used to be based on two straightforward principles. The first was that buildings had to offer up some sustainable features to comply with the ethical standards of their occupiers. The second was that there was some financial benefit. Often these principles went hand in hand, especially when it came to issues such as energy efficiency. They remain the foundations of the idea of green building design and are applicable across a range of building accreditations such as BREEAM as well as standards relating to specific products and policies. Over the past couple of years, however, we have become increasingly aware of other drivers that might make us all re-evaluate how we approach sustainability. These drivers are based on a more sophisticated understanding of green building design and the benefits for all of those involved.

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Leading role for property sector in promoting ‘green infrastructure’ says UK-GBC

Key role for property sector in promoting 'green infrastructure' says UK-GBCThe property industry can play a leading role in protecting and enhancing national features and biodiversity. That is according to a new report by the UK Green Building Council Task Group which presents the business case for “green infrastructure”, the term used to describe natural and semi-natural features ranging from street trees and roof gardens to parks and woodland. Demystifying Green Infrastructure finds that introducing green infrastructure into the built environment offers a range of business opportunities, including an increase in the value of land and property, as well as social and environmental benefits. Aimed primarily at developers and occupiers, the report also identifies risks from failing to incorporate adequate green infrastructure into projects, such as delays in planning, increased costs and reputational damage.

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Focus on the wellbeing of the occupants of the office, not that of the building

The design of the office has a big impact on health and wellbeingIf you ask a typical corporation about their real estate strategy you will most probably hear a lot about rationalisation, minimising cost and synergy. Real estate strategy should include all these but a cost-cutting approach can be very short-sighted. Staff costs usually account to about 90 per cent of the business operating cost, while any improvement in staff’s productivity will have a stronger and more positive outcome than any cost saving on a building. The recently released World Green Building Council (WGBC) report Health, Wellbeing & Productivity in Offices developed with the support of JLL, Lend Lease and Skanska, clearly shows that the design of an office has a strong impact on the health, wellbeing and productivity of its occupants. It describes the impact of acoustics, interior layout, look & feel, amenities, air quality, thermal comfort, location, daylight and user control on occupants. But it doesn’t stop there.

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The solution to complex issues like green building is to become more sophisticated

office designOne of the current preoccupations of the World Green Building Council is to demonstrate how green business is good business. The way it is presenting this argument is intriguing because as well as extolling the most anticipated benefits of green building design, such as lower energy bills, it is linking green building design with human factors such as productivity, wellness and  work-life balance. It has produced a number of reports on this subject, most recently in September with a publication titled Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices which found ‘overwhelming evidence’ of the link between office design and productivity.  What such compelling reports also highlight are the complex challenges we face and the sophisticated approach we must take to environmental issues and corporate social responsibility. Fortunately this is already exhibited by many organisations.

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We’ve long had ‘overwhelming evidence’ for the link between office design and productivity

office designPerhaps the most widely reported news from the world of workplace over the last couple of weeks has been the analysis from the World Green Building Council that links office design with productivity and wellness. And the two words from the report that have featured most commonly in the associated stories’ headlines have been ‘overwhelming evidence’. While this has been repeated as if it’s some kind of revelation, the truth is that we have had compelling and overwhelming evidence for many years, and barely a year goes past without some study or other making the same point in no uncertain terms. Each report merely serves to raise a more interesting question; given the sheer body of work linking the workplace with productivity (and happiness and motivation and so on), why does the argument still need to be made?

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‘Overwhelming evidence’ of link between office design, productivity and wellness claims report

office designA new report from the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) claims it has “overwhelming evidence” that office design significantly impacts the health, wellbeing and productivity of staff. Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices: The Next Chapter for Green Building reports on a range of factors – from air quality and lighting, to views of nature and interior layout – can affect the health, satisfaction and job performance of office workers. Understanding the link between workers and their workplace helps to drive the business case for higher quality, healthy and greener buildings, valued by investors, developers and tenants alike. With salaries and benefits typically responsible for 90 percent of an organization’s expenditure, any higher construction or occupation costs are far outweighed by even small improvements in staff performance.

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Global launch of healthy buildings report announced for World Green Building Week

Green buildingWorld Green Building Week 2014 takes place next week (22 – 27 September) with the theme for this year of ‘Get up, Green up’. Created in 2009 to promote a more connected, more interactive, and more public conversation around the role buildings play in creating a sustainable future, this year’s WGBW will feature a range of events held around the world; including Australia, US, Hungary and the United Arab Emirates. On Monday 22 September, as part of WGBW, UK-GBC is hosting a webinar looking at the Ökobau.dat, the German National LCA database for construction, and on Wednesday 24 the global launch event of the WorldGBC ‘Health, wellbeing and productivity in offices: the next chapter for green building’ report, which looks at health, wellbeing and productivity in offices, following an extensive project involving over 50 industry experts from around the world.  More →

BCO report claims to reveal link between green offices and business performance


A new report from the British Council for Offices claims that building owners could enjoy significant savings in their operating costs of up to £50 per square metre as well as improved staff productivity  and wellbeing by investing in environmentally friendly offices and work practices. The research, Improving the Environmental Performance of Offices claims to illustrate the benefits of energy efficient offices and highlight the positive impact they can have on employee productivity. The report calls on building occupiers to focus on key areas such as benchmarking and monitoring their energy usage. The BCO believes there is already a shift in attitudes towards a greater understanding of how offices actually perform environmentally rather than simply how they are designed and that more and more businesses are waking up to specific issues such as how much energy their buildings use outside of office hours. More →

World Green Building week launches with a breath of fresh air

World Green building week launches with a breath of fresh airMaking sustainability sexy is a tall order. Look up the topic “green building” and you’ll invariably come across in depth descriptions of energy saving schemes and achieving a BREEAM rating. All these considerations are of course very important, but they make it difficult to engage building occupants. With the theme “Greener buildings, better places, healthier people”, World Green Building Week, which begins today (16-20 September), should do just that, by concentrating on the tangible benefits to building occupants of a green office. Paul King, Chief Executive of UK-GBC, said: We often hear about the environmental and financial benefits of green buildings, but less attention is paid to the impact on those who live and work in them.” More →

Healthier people theme for this year’s World Green Building Week

Wellness theme for this year's World Green Building Week from 16-20 September

The UK Green Building Council has published a calendar of events for this year’s World Green Building Week (WGBW) which takes place from 16-20 September 2013. The theme is ‘Greener Buildings, Better Places, Healthier People’, emphasising the value of green buildings to people – whether higher productivity for office workers, improved learning outcomes for students, healthier workplaces for nurses and teachers, or better homes for people. The key messages are that green buildings make better places to live, work and play; that improving indoor and outdoor environmental quality help us to create healthier places to live and work, and that green buildings can improve well-being and quality of life for everyone in the community. More →

Economic benefits of green buildings highlighted


Green buildings can be delivered at a price comparable to conventional buildings, with investments recouped through operational cost savings and, with the right design features, create a more productive workplace, says the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC). A new report, which looked at the benefits from green buildings received by different stakeholders throughout the life cycle of a building, “synthesizes credible evidence from around the world on green buildings into one collective resource, and the evidence presented highlights that sustainable buildings provide tangible benefits and make clear business sense,” said Jane Henley, CEO of WorldGBC. More →