Where you work has an affect on you. Your workplace affects your health, both physical and mental, short term and long term. Your workplace affects your productivity, your efficiency and how much you create. It also affects the quality of what you create, now and into the future. So, how big is the impact, and what are the factors behind it?
These truths are supported by innumerable studies. In 2003, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute conducted a study showing that workers in windowed offices spent 15 percent more time on tasks than workers in window-less offices. Several studies performed by Johnson Controls show that optimized work environments increase job satisfaction by up to 24 percent and increase productivity by up to 16 percent. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reports that worker productivity is directly correlated to ventilation rates.
Where you work also has an effect on your business. Productivity and quality of work has a clear correlation to the bottom line. On top of that, the physical space in which you work can make or break your business. The high costs of heating, cooling, plug loads and more can dramatically drain resources. But there is a solution – countless savings can be found simply by optimizing your building design.
So, how does sustainability fit into all of this? Sustainability certainly means different things to different people; it’s an ill-defined term that is applied in a wide variety of contexts. When talking about sustainability in ecosystems and the environment, one generally means the ability of the ecosystem to sustain its current course based on limited resources. When talking about sustainability of human life, one talks about maintaining human wellbeing and health throughout varied living conditions around the world. When talking about economic sustainability, one discusses the continuation of economic development by utilizing resources that don’t present an eventual limit.
At Paladino, when we think about sustainability as it applies to commercial real estate we define it as: the ability of a workplace to empower the companies and people who work there. Our team believes that we can achieve this by looking at projects through an abundance lens. What are the resources readily available that we can utilize and optimize to achieve the highest level of results?
By applying our Abundance Approach, we envision workplaces that actually help people and businesses achieve what they want to achieve. People look forward to going to work, and their engagement, productivity and output is elevated because of the environment. We also focus on making these buildings and workplaces as efficient as possible, which increases property value and supports business operations.
We’ve proven the value of sustainability time and time again on our clients’ projects. For example, in FedEx Express’ world headquarters in Memphis, TN, we saved the client $150,000 per year simply by upgrading the lighting control center. At the National Geographic Society Headquarters Complex in Washington, DC, we increased the property value by $24 million by improving the building infrastructure and optimizing operations.
Paladino’s Outlook on Commercial Real Estate
As the leader of Paladino’s Commercial Real Estate team it’s my mission to help businesses and workers everywhere reap the benefits of an optimized workspace. So as we embark on projects, try our hand at new rating systems and engage with the marketplace, we’ll be letting you know what we’ve been up to and what we’ve learned along the way to better support your high performance projects.
We’ll share the latest trends in the market, best practices and real world examples and how we’re understanding and using these trends to improve workplaces everywhere. For example, we’ll help outline the LEED credits that fit your goals and figure out just how the WELL building standard can help your workplace and organization. In addition, we’ll help you determine how to take advantage of local incentive programs and understand new regulations, as well as navigate GRESB reporting for your company.
Here’s a sample of few posts you can look forward to:
- Government regulations and incentive programs. Federal, state and local – how are building codes and benchmarking requirement impacting your business and how to find incentives, what’s in them for you, and how to take advantage of them.
- Surprising ways your work environment affects your health. The Harvard School of Public Health recently reported studies linking air pollution to autism. We’ll talk about pollution, indoor air quality, and other ways that the workplace affects wellness.
- How does green building play into a larger corporate sustainability framework? Does your organization’s commitment to sustainability start and end with your buildings? Or does your workspace reflect the culture and strategy of your organization?
- Open offices: the right way and the wrong way. Earlier this year we addressed the backlash against open offices and provided some tips on making it work. Here we’ll address the technical elements that can make or break an open office design.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments along the way and hope you join us in empowering people and businesses through the workplace.