Are half-empty offices wasting energy?
Fast Company reporter Nate Berg asks if half-empty offices wasting energy powering all of their mechanical systems? Data shows that the answer is no.
In a nutshell:
As office buildings slowly emerge from the pandemic, occupancy rates are gradually rising as companies require workers to return, even if only part-time. Surprisingly, data from real estate data management company Measurabl reveals that despite this increase in usage, office energy consumption is on a downward trend. Comparing data from multiple cities over different years, energy intensity per square foot is decreasing over time, indicating better energy management. This shift is attributed to proactive energy management strategies driven by environmental concerns, ESG standards, and energy regulations, though a significant portion of commercial real estate is yet to adopt such practices, potentially skewing overall energy usage statistics.
"The single largest controllable expense in most office buildings, and in most buildings period, is energy expenditure," says Measurabl CEO Matt Ellis.
The big picture:
Prolonged exposure to indoor pollutants has been linked to symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Efficient energy practices within office spaces lead to a healthier indoor environment, as optimized ventilation and lighting systems reduce pollutants and enhance overall well-being. These combined effects underscore the significant role that energy conservation in workplaces plays in promoting public health.
Read the article at Fast Company.
Are we safer at home? A team of international researchers has found that exposure to certain indoor air pollutants such as particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide and some heavy metals is linked to child obesity.