According to the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), artificial lights are responsible for almost 17% of the energy consumed in a commercial building and can be even higher depending on usage. However, saving on the energy consumed by your lighting system is also easily achievable.
On some days, your employees are coughing and sneezing. On others, they appear to be sluggish and sleepy, experiencing what many have deemed the "2:30 feeling" since the airing of 5-Hour Energy's advertising campaign.
So what can you do about it?
Although a company curfew and extra caffeinated coffee could be the solution for a few, it may not solve the overarching issue. Why? Because many offices suffer from "sick building symptoms," including bad indoor air quality (IAQ). In fact indoor air quality is likely to be 2-5 times worse than outdoor air quality. Given that most of us spend 90% of our time indoors, improving your building’s indoor air quality can significantly affect employee and customer health, comfort and productivity, sometimes increasing cognitive ability by 101%!
So what can you do to improve the indoor air quality in your building?
When it comes to making your building more sustainable, you have a wealth of options and resources. Many building owners and managers start by replacing lightbulbs with energy-efficient options like LEDs or CFLs. You could retrofit your HVAC system with smarter sensing and controls, for even greater energy savings impact and overall ROI. And, you could go longer-term and structural – adding solar panels, replacing windows, or even redesigning your building from the ground up. Every step matters – but as a building owner, you want to be able to quantify those changes. That's why we've made a list of certification programs which help score and benchmark your building for sustainability, making it easier to qualify for energy rebates, keep track of your improvements and advertise your building to prospective tenants.
Lighting in commercial buildings can significantly impact the "triple bottom line," improving the planet's sustainability through energy efficiency and boosting organizational profitability. Though, most importantly, lighting can improve the wellbeing of the people who occupy the space. The WELL Building standard includes lighting as one of seven core concepts of health. LED lighting projects have been a popular building improvement in recent years, for energy efficiency returns alone. Did you know that advanced lighting controls and automation can add efficiency and health benefits to lighting programs?
The WELL Building Standard provides important guidance around the interests of human health, wellbeing, productivity and sustainability with a focus on the occupant. It includes benchmarks, goals and compliance requirements for owners and other building stakeholders. The WELL Building Standard covers seven core concepts of health: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind – for all types of buildings, including commercial office, retail, industrial, residential and restaurants.
Our last blog post on the WELL Building Standard discussed how building owners can maximize their "comfort" concept score for WELL certification. This post, the second in our series, is focused on the why the WELL Building Standard is so important for the "indoor air quality" (IAQ) environments of the future and how 75F can help you deliver improved air quality for your occupants and achieve top air quality scores toward WELL certification.
Wellness standards exist for people, so why not also for buildings? After all, we spend about 90% of our lives indoors. Many of us spend seven to 10 hours each workday indoors. This equates to about 25% of our life spent indoors at work. That's a real bummer, especially if our indoor environment isn't healthy. Several studies show that productivity, mood and creativity can be boosted significantly with better indoor air quality and indoor environment quality. The WELL Building Standard guides and advises on the seven factors that can most impact human health and well being.