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3 ways to make meeting spaces, workplaces sustainable

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Green office spaces can boost health and productivity, and business owners are looking for ways to become eco-friendlier.

Whether one works from a home office or owns a small business or a large corporation, there are ways to reduce the environmental footprint of the business, in return decreasing costs associated with energy consumption, to lower the cost of business and create a healthier workspace environment.

Visionect recently introduced the Joan Meeting Room Assistant, an energy efficient digital door label and meeting room scheduling solution. Here are three trends in meeting spaces, according to the company, that promote a sustainable workplace:

  • Promote green office practices: If you want an environmentally friendly office space design, ensure that your meeting space promotes green office practices. Some ways to ensure that your office is green is to go digital. Physical calendars for meeting room reservations are not very green. Getting a digital conference room reservation system reduces unnecessary waste. Other green office practices include telecommuting or using public transit, business casual attire and powering down at night when it comes to shutting down unused devices to save on the overall energy bill.
     
  • LEED certification score and environmentally friendly office products: The U.S. Green Building Council created a scoring system to rate the greenness of a building. The scoring system is called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The highest potential LEED score is 110. Based on the number of points a building earns, it will receive one of four ratings: certified (40+), silver (50+), gold (60+) and platinum (80+). The points are weighted based on environmental impact. Achieving a high LEED certification score can be done by incorporating three green friendly factors; green construction methods, sustainable materials, and energy-efficient systems into the building process. When designing a meeting room, ensure they meet the LEED certification score by buying eco-friendly office furniture.
     
  • Use environmentally friendly office products: Environmentally friendly office products can range from reusable pens, to LED lamps and bulbs, to recycled paper and rechargeable batters, as long as you research and replace what can be more eco-friendly in your office, you are closer to being green. When it comes to reusable pens, stop throwing away pens and start using reusable ones. Even when it comes to ink and toner cartridges, each reused cartridge saves 2.5 pounds of metal and plastic and half a gallon of oil. Plus, it costs about 1.5 times less than new cartridges.

Topics: Architectural Firms, Automation and Controls, Building Owners and Managers, Energy Saving Products, Great Commercial Buildings, Office Buildings, Sustainable Communities, Technology, USGBC


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Hospitality Design and Well-being: Quality Sleep at Hotels

HOSPITALITY DESIGN AND WELL-BEING: QUALITY SLEEP AT HOTELS
|
2019
1
INFLUENCERS
Hotel room conditions
Lighting
1*,2,3
(room not too light or too
dark
1*
; sunlight present
3
)
Room temperature
1**,2
Noise
1*,2,3
(from noise in hall/from
another room/related to HVAC
1*
; from
street or HVAC
3
)
Odor
1**
Mattresses
1*,2,3
Pillows
1*,2,3
Duvet/Bedding
3
Hotel/Room amenities (or lack of)
4
At-hotel facilities (number of floors at
the hotel)
2
Hotel location (number of restaurants nearby)
2
DESIGN IMPLICATIONS
Create “cool, dark, quiet, and comfortable
hotel rooms” (traveler preference)
2
Provide personal choice (e.g., guests
choose between different pillows, room
temperature control
3
)
Block excessive light (e.g., “install proper
night lamps, remove light-emitting or
distracting electronic devices from rooms,
install blackout window shades or curtains,
and supply eye masks for guests”
2
; install
sunlight blocking curtains
3
)
Provide sound abatement measures (e.g.,
“soundproof building material,” “nighttime
quiet hours policy”
1*,2
)
Ensure HVAC system is in good
working order
2
Set temperature to about 68 degrees
Fahrenheit (“ideal room temperature should
be about 20 degrees Celsius”
3
)
The write-ups on new hotel openings in
The New York Times
and
elsewhere over the last few years all seem to include the term
“well-being.”
Properties from New York City to, well, the ends of
the Earth, all seem to be set on enhancing the well-being of their
guests via design and amenity/service options — and nothing
increases our well-being faster or better than a good night’s sleep.
Trip Advisor even allows people to rate how well they’ve slept in
various hotels. Based on multiple research study findings that
focus on the importance of design, this topic summary report
synthesizes multiple resources on how hotel design can increase
the likelihood of deep, restful, guest sleeps.
*business travelers
**business travelers in mid-scale hotels

Continue reading Hospitality Design and Well-being: Quality Sleep at Hotels

How reducing the noise level in open-plan build-outs can create a more productive work environment

By Dan Polito – Director of Operations, Northern California, Skender

The hallmarks of contemporary interiors —open ceilings, exposed concrete floors and glass-walled spaces — foster a hip and modern mindset for the companies and retailers that inhabit them, but at what cost? Often, the answer is noise — a huge drawback that can and will impact your business.

Without the sound-dampening effects of the acoustical tiles used in drop ceilings and wall-to-wall carpeting and other soft surfaces, ambient noises such as conversations, humming HVAC systems, and moving furniture are amplified. And plans to mitigate this heightened noise so as not to disrupt the employee or customer experience can add extra materials, labor costs and time to your build-out.

Alleviate office noise woes

Open or plenum ceilings come with hidden costs that should be considered at the inception of the build-out. One of these costs is the human cost of dealing with loud and distracting spaces created by open ceilings in conjunction with the popular open floor plans of contemporary offices. Employees may become overwhelmed without enclosed offices or high cubicles to block out the cacophony of conference calls, impromptu meetings, and even seemingly harmless email alerts and typing sounds.

Ignoring the issue may lead to decreased levels of productivity, feelings of privacy and job satisfaction among employees. Noisy spaces may also make a negative impression on clients or lead to costly mistakes caused by misheard or overheard sensitive information.

White noise systems mask some of the sound, but employees may find the artificial noise itself to be a distraction. For open offices, acoustical sprays are increasingly popular for replacing the effect of the acoustical tiles that constitute drop ceilings. The biggest downside from a build-out perspective is that all other site work must pause for a week or more while the acoustical spray is applied. The cost of the materials and labor to install acoustical sprays should also be factored into the budget.

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Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 Schools to achieve zero energy

Publication is joint effort by ASHRAE, AIA, IES, and USGBC.

JANUARY 29, 2018 |

A new publication is intended to help build K-12 schools with advanced levels of energy savings.

Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildings – Achieving Zero Energy, is a joint effort by ASHRAE, AIA, IES, and USGBC, with support and funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). It is the first in a series of guides that is tailored to the design and creation of zero energy buildings.

“The guide builds upon the popular 50% advanced energy design guide series with new and updated recommendations on energy efficiency,” says Paul Torcellini, project committee chair. “Additionally, it provides guidance for on-site renewable energy generation and establishes a set of energy performance goals for achieving zero energy. The goals are provided for all ASHRAE climate zones, in both site and source energy.” 

How-to tips provide guidance for specialty areas—building and site planning, envelope, daylighting, electric lighting, plug loads, kitchens and food service, water heating, HVAC, and renewable generation. The document provides guidance on how to connect zero energy and teaching and learning.

For More Information About This Blog Post, Click Here! 

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