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Sustainable Office Buildings Increase Workers' Productivity

Comfortable spaces prove key for workplace well-being

External Blinds Office

With features such as external shading systems and low-temperature heating, it's easy to see how green buildings help protect the environment whilst benefiting those that occupy them. This said, the consideration of users during the planning stages is often overlooked. 

However, the good news is awareness of the non-environmental benefits of green buildings is growing, such as how these buildings can have a positive impact on the user’s wellbeing.

In fact, a recent working paper by the European Joint Research Centre identified "healthy and comfortable spaces" as one of the key factors necessary to judge the environmental performance of a building. Plus, given that within the average office building, over 80% of the total operating expenses are salaries and personnel-related costs, it seems the sustainability of office buildings, through the likes of temperature control and interior design, could play a key role in boosting overall workplace morale. 

External Roller Blind

Furthermore, Andrew Smith, a senior lecturer in facilities management at the University of Central Lancashire, explains "there is some evidence suggesting that people are happier in these buildings," with Andrew adding how workplace well-being could contribute to an increase in workers' productivity and ultimately, customer satisfaction.

This theory is demonstrated in our diagram below which highlights how internal temperatures have a direct effect on the level of staff productivity, with even the most minor of productivity increases having a significant economic impact.

Productivity Temperature Building

But how could this issue be addressed in future? Experts agree that users should be included in the planning of a building right from the very beginning, even though this may be challenging in practice.

Nevertheless, this approach was successfully adapted by the planners of the award-winning NuOffice in Munich, which has recently been dubbed "the most sustainable office building in the world." Oliver Vietgen, one of the architects that coordinated the planning and construction of the iconic building adds, "we consulted the tenants extensively and asked about their needs prior to the construction of the building.”  

The eco credentials for the NuOffice include a low-temperature heating structure and an external shading system to manage excess heat and light, much like our external roller blinds, as featured in the photo below. Our innovative blinds were installed to this BREEAM outstanding-rated office building in Clerkenwell, London, occupied by top architectural practice AHMM.

External Roller Blinds

Only an automatically controlled system linked into appropriate sensors can adapt to the rapidly changing outdoor conditions to achieve maximum occupant efficiency and enjoyment of the internal space, whilst maintaining minimal energy demand.

If you'd like to see the blind system utilised on the BREEAM outstanding rated building in action, visit our stand at Ecobuild where we will be showcasing our entire range of external shading systems along with providing expert advice regarding the right shading system for your specific application and requirements. Tickets are free of charge - click here to register.