We spend more than 90% of our lives in buildings. Little wonder then, that the types of buildings we occupy and the conditions maintained within them, have a significant impact on our health, well-being and productivity. A new project underway with backing from the technology champion, Innovate UK, aims to identify the best indoor conditions for human productivity and to deliver them at lowest energy consumption.
Staff costs can account for up to 90% of overheads and so even small improvements in productivity are highly prized. The World Green Building Council reports that productivity improvements of 8 – 10% can be achieved through better air quality (source). In many cases, energy efficient buildings are also those that enhance productivity, often as a by-product of daylighting and natural ventilation. Recent findings suggest that green building conditions can improve cognitive functioning by 61% (source). However, achieving a low carbon, productive building is complex, and as well as natural synergies, there are also tensions in trying to attain both these goals, particularly in existing buildings.
Sean Brook, Project Lead, comments:
“The link between Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) and productivity is proven. Our challenge is to achieve these in existing buildings which are not always designed to deliver this performance. This project aims to test the relationship in the real world, quantify the gain and develop systems to consistently deliver the right IEQ at lowest energy”
The Whole Life Performance+ project brings together a consortium of experts in building performance, property development and facilities management. Oxford Brookes University will provide technical input to develop the service offering and solutions will be tested in office buildings managed by Argent and EMCOR and those owned and occupied by King’s College London.
Throughout the project, findings will be disseminated by the British Council for Offices and Constructing Excellence. Oxfordshire based real estate consultancy, LCMB will lead the project team, with the ultimate aim of commercialising and bringing to market new services to deliver more productive, lower carbon buildings.
LCMB will be launching a dedicated project website which will be publicly available to anyone that has an interest in understanding productivity in the commercial built environment, and those seeking to maximise the performance of their organisations. For further details of the WLP+ project please contact Sean Brook, General Manager of Building Performance Solutions. Or for a friendly chat please contact our office on 01295 722823.