Giving new life to old buildings

26 September 2011

SHAPE presents on Sustainability in Singapore

Later this month, SHAPE’s Head of Sustainability, Riccardo Rizzi is travelling to Singapore to present at the Sustainable Cities Conference 2011.  Riccardo’s topic is ‘giving new life to old buildings’ through refurbishments that improve occupant satisfaction and environmental performance.  

Riccardo has been invited to speak about how SHAPE has refurbished its own offices and whether this has quantifiably improved occupant satisfaction and environmental performance.  SHAPE has also delivered 30 per cent of all Green Star offices in Australia and Riccardo will speak about insights that are transferable to the wider property industry.  

In refurbishing its offices, SHAPE focused equally on sustainability, occupant satisfaction and productivity. SHAPE has a core company value to be “a place where people want to work” and creating enjoyable and productive work environments are essential to this.

Riccardo has added to this by thinking of an office building as a ‘habitat for humans’ (as we spend so much time in them) and including the features that are essential for our well-being.  SHAPE offices incorporate lots of natural light and outside views, additional fresh air, improved heating and cooling systems, low VOC and formaldehyde products and breakout areas for employees to relax, have their lunch and mix with other employees.  Newer offices have pot plants and green walls as they improve the air quality and people respond positively to plants.    

In order to quantify the benefits of upgrading its offices, SHAPE commissioned an independent consultant to undertake a pre and post assessment of the move into the new Melbourne office, which was recently certified as 5 Star Green Star Office Interiors v1.1.  The assessment measured both the physical environment and the occupant satisfaction in both offices.

The study found a dramatic improvement in employee satisfaction in the new Green Star office.  Employee satisfaction has increased to 92 per cent, significantly up from 27 per cent in the old office.  Breaking this down, there were substantial improvements in thermal comfort and air quality, and more modest improvements in acoustic quality, lighting and office layout.   All measured categories showed an improvement.  

This improvement in employee satisfaction was reflected in the improvements in the physical environment in the offices as there were measurable improvements in carbon dioxide, formaldehyde and VOC concentrations in the air, as well as less drafts from the air-conditioning.  

This is a fantastic result and tangibly demonstrates the benefits that can come from refurbishing old offices in ways that improve environmental performance and also occupant well-being and satisfaction. 

'Giving new life to old buildings' presentation

This entry was posted on Monday, 26 September 2011.

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