What do we want from our “Green” buildings?

Paul Phillips

Paul Phillips
Director of Consultancy Services, Assurity Consulting
21st March 2017

It got me thinking about what we want from our buildings, whether they are classed as “green” or “dirty”? Whatever the age, intended use, operational demands or intelligence of the systems of a building there are some basic requirements that have to be met.

Buildings have to be safe, healthy and comfortable! Is it really negotiable How safe? or How healthy? or How comfortable? a building should be? There are legal and best practice standards that govern these requirements. Whatever the environmental credentials a building may possess, I’m sure no designer or installer or operator would want to provide a product that is demonstrably unsafe, unhealthy or uncomfortable!

But has this focus been lost in all the noise about “green”, “intelligent” or dare I say it even “Well” buildings?

Even after all this time and experience, as a consultancy we are still seeing some basic flaws in the design and operation of buildings that could be and perhaps should be avoided!

Why is it that buildings are still being associated with outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease when the first case, and its known cause, was identified 41 years ago?! Why is it that the highest number of complaints received by Facilities Managers is still that the workplace is too hot, too cold, too stuffy or too draughty, too dark or too bright?! Why is it that GPs are still blaming “unresolved” or “non specific” illness or malaise on people’s place of work?!

There is no reason, with all the knowledge, expertise, experience, research and resources available today, why every workplace cannot be suitably safe, healthy and comfortable. But too often they are not! There is still a lot of work to do obviously!