ACR-News
14 August 2017

BCIA highlights smart effects of workplace well-being

The Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA) has highlighted the importance of occupant well-being in commercial buildings.

 

Representing the building controls and BEMS sector, the BCIA aims to promote better understanding and use of building controls.

As technology continues to evolve, there is an increasing focus on the wellness of individuals in the workplace, as well as a drive for smarter buildings which help to boost productivity.

Historically, there has been little thought given by designers or contractors to occupants’ well-being. However, well-being is now a frequently discussed topic across all industries and something which organisations must take seriously.

The Well Building Standard is the first building standard to concentrate on the health and well-being of people. This has now been aligned with the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), the global sustainability standard. Together, these now provide a central point for linking both wellness and sustainability, in order to achieve best practice.

Going forward, this standard will help building owners, facilities managers and HVAC engineers to determine future-proof solutions that assist with the well-being of individuals in energy efficient commercial buildings.

Research has proven that “well” employees are not only more mentally and physically capable of doing their job, but also more willing to develop their technical skills. Furthermore, individuals will demonstrate more loyalty to an organisation where they feel comfortable and happy in their environment.

The latest advancements in technology allow for smart building controls systems and sensors to be installed, which allow users to optimise their working environment. In conjunction with a Building Management System (BMS), heating, ventilation and air-conditioning can all be set to individuals’ personal preferences.

Dynamic buildings which are stimulating, with natural lighting and clean air, have been proven to ensure that workers are more effective. As a consequence, overall business performance is likely to improve.

In today’s climate, buildings can’t remain stagnant. There needs to be an ongoing evolution of how buildings can adapt to occupants’ needs. Many commercial buildings already feature the latest intelligent solutions, but this is still not common practice across the board. Well-being must be at the forefront of design to ensure a productive workforce, not just for now, but for the future.

Malcolm Anson, president of the BCIA, commented: “The importance of well-being within our industry is something we must fully embrace. No two people are the same, so why would we expect individuals to thrive in an environment which fails to meet their needs? We need to ensure the end user can perform at their optimum ability by providing flexible, user-control systems which promote a happy, healthy and sustainable working environment.”

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