Sustainable workspaces: designed to balance wellness, performance and environment
Sustainable workspaces: designed to balance wellness, performance and environment

The development of a sustainable building is becoming more and more relevant in corporate companies. All aim to achieve a balance between wellbeing, productivity and low impact on the environment.

 

This trend seeks to ensure that the building is more efficient in the use of its resources, in addition to creating exclusive spaces for recycling and implementing low-energy lighting, without sacrificing architectural features. In addition to this, the spaces are adapted to the needs of the work groups in relation to the company’s culture.

 

 What aspects should be considered for a building to be sustainable?

 

  1. Knowing the needs of employees: Through a holistic study of the company, using quantitative collection tools such as surveys, and qualitative as interviews and workshops. This information is key, as it serves as a basis for the design of spaces that seek to maximize comfort, considering ergonomics and the appropriate use of materials. This results in the implementation of various work areas, both individual and group, concentration and co-creation.
  2. Harmony with the environment: sustainable offices should consider aspects such as saving water and electricity resources, the correct use of furniture and lighting, the implementation of the 3R rule (reduce, recycle and reuse) and the mitigation of CO2 emissions during construction and maintenance.
  3. Economic balance: the solutions implemented with sustainable resources must generate savings in the short and medium term, without reducing their use. It is also important to mention that the investment that a company makes in this type of project often has the sole return of increasing the productivity of its employees.
  4. Change management: the trend of sustainable building is related to the Open Space concept offices, since its distribution in collaborative environments makes open spaces more efficient, since they generate cross-cutting interactions between leaders and employees. However, the adaptation of the collaborators to the return to the offices and to a different way of working, where nobody has closed offices and assigned work spaces, is fundamental.

 

The consulting firm KPMG establishes the following definition: “Change management seeks to facilitate and achieve the successful implementation of transformation processes, which involves working with and for people in the acceptance and assimilation of changes and in reducing resistance to them”. (KPMG, 2022)[1]

 

How to evaluate the sustainability of a building?

 

At present, there are different systems that allow evaluation according to the type and complexity of the building. One of the indexes that calculates the sustainability of a building is the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification system, granted by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), which offers four certifications: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Certified. The aspects considered in qualification are site sustainability, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, air quality, and innovation and design. This model of sustainable and customized offices has prompted several companies to reconsider their spaces in search of better relationships, results and productivity.

 

ENGIE, an agent of change

 

In this sense, in the first half of the year, ENGIE completed the remodeling of its corporate building located in San Isidro, which has improved its efficiency thanks to the modification of technical aspects such as: fire alarm, electrical wiring, access control, lighting systems, servers, HVAC, among others.

 

The aforementioned modifications, whose purpose are the efficient use of resources, are in addition to the corporate solar roof project, located on the top floor of the building, which has 100 photovoltaic panels. This technology was built in 2017 with the aim of reducing electricity consumption from the grid by 25% allowing self-generation of renewable and clean energy in the company.

 

While it is true, the company is not yet LEED certified. However, it is making all the necessary adaptations to meet the standards required in the evaluation, which will give it added value as a sustainable building.

 

 

[1] KPMG, C. (2022). KPMG. Retrieved from KPMG: https://home.kpmg

 

Share