The pandemic shone a spotlight on the workspace of the future, the re-imaging of which aims to reduce negative environmental impact while helping improve employee morale and health. Companies have turned to integrating sustainability features into the workplace in the post-COVID world of work.
JEG Tower One Acacia, a LEED Gold certified 22-storey office and high-rise development in Cebu City, recently unveiled six sustainability features which companies should consider when rethinking the workplace of the next generation.
According to JEG Realty, the real estate arm of JEG Development Corporation, the features are:
Green transportation in the workplace, characterized by its cost-efficiency and ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At JEG Tower One Acacia, cycling as an alternative mode of transport as space is by allocated in the building for bike racks for those who want to pedal their way to work.
“All employees in the building are encouraged to own a bike to champion a healthy lifestyle and at the same time reduce their own carbon footprints,” claimed Marko Sarmiento, JEG Realty’s president. “After pedaling their way to the office, employees can use any of the five water-conserving shower rooms in the parking area to freshen up before they go to work.”
Apart from bike racks, there are seven specially designated parking spaces that are painted green for Low-Emission Fuel-Efficient (LEFE) vehicles, such as electric and hybrid-powered cars. These allow workers in the building to save up on fuel and reduce pollution.
Green roof deck garden
With office employees spending most of their time indoors, an essential sustainability feature that companies need to integrate into their workplace, includes biophilic design elements, such as views of nature, green walls, and indoor planting. These play a role in minimizing the risks of pollution and building better biodiversity.
Research reveals that biophilia have positive physiological and psychological impacts on humans. Businesses should learn to embrace biophilic design as it has been found to reduce stress and improve productivity as well as creativity in the workplace.
“JEG Tower One Acacia is one of the premium-grade office developments in the Philippines that takes it a notch higher through its pioneering green roof—a relaxing space that features local flora and fauna that is made accessible to all occupants of their building,” said Sarmiento.
The roof deck’s flora can also help bolster humidity levels to the 30%–60% range required for human health. It likewise features native and adaptive vegetation to ensure less maintenance and reduced costs by minimizing the need for fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation.
A growing number of companies in the Philippines have invested in solar panels to attract tenants and occupiers. By using solar power instead of the municipal power supply, businesses can limit the production of greenhouse gases. What makes solar energy an even more viable sustainability feature in the workplace is it reduces operational costs, which means businesses can expect a partial cut in their monthly utility bills.
Solar panels are a green feature of JEG Tower One Acacia, making it the first commercial development in Cebu City to use solar energy. This tower entered into a 20-Year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with COREnergy for a Zero Cash-Out solar photovoltaics (PV) plant.
“The development utilizes a 40 kWp Solar PV System from over 100 pieces of Polycrystalline PV Modules installed on the building crown. The system will be able to supply electricity to power, either fully or partially, the lower ground floor to the 6th Floor,” explained Sarmiento.
Sustainable building materials
Building workspaces without thinking about the environmental impact of the materials is slowly becoming a thing of the past.
Common eco-friendly measures include the selection of energy-efficient lights and office equipment, and flooring and wall finishes that are sustainably sourced, such as reclaimed wood or recycled construction materials.
Reduced usage of water, power
Businesses have also come under increasing scrutiny over the business costs of their operations. By putting in place energy-efficient devices, companies will not only be able to conserve electric power and water. These will also allow them to save money in the long run.
“Water efficiency and conservation are at the heart of JEG Tower One Acacia,” said Sarmiento. “It promises around 32% reduced water usage by employing a rainwater collection system and low plumbing fixtures that increase the efficiency of water use in the building. The rainwater collection system can reduce utility costs and allocate treated water for more important use.”
Waste management, recycling
Another way businesses choose to build a healthier environment is by implementing a recycling program throughout the workplace. Most millennials today want companies to be more environmentally conscious to ensure a sustainable supply chain.
One of the ways to achieve this is to practice recycling, which helps to save resources, reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve energy, and minimize emissions associated with transporting waste to landfills.
JEG Tower One Acacia prioritizes proper waste disposal and recycling. It collects and stores waste materials for recycling, including the diversion and demolition of debris from disposal in landfills and incineration facilities.
The six sustainability features advocated by JEG Tower One Acacia are poised to take center stage in the workplace of the next generation.