Transdisciplinary Workplace Research Conference 2020
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Session 15 Sustainability and Working Conditions

"The importance of location for services office in vacant real estate"

P. Oude Velthuis, Dr. Brenda Groen, Saxion University of Applied Sciences/Hospitality Business School Enschede/The Netherlands

Abstract: In the aftermath of the recession in 2008, structural vacancy levels of Dutch office real estate were high. In reaction, vacant office space has been used to accommodate a rising market phenomenon, the serviced office concept (SOC). In hosting a SOC, selecting a suitable location requires consideration of settlement criteria, furthermore, parties have to account for the benefits SOC-users seek: outsourcing, flexibility, and cost effectiveness. Aim of this paper is to explore the alignment of vacant office properties to real estate preferences of serviced office concepts. Based on semi-structured interviews it was found that market segmentation had a tremendous impact on the required real estate characteristics. Primary traits of properties revolved around good accessibility of the property, and accounting for agglomeration dynamics. Secondary traits encompassed, ambiance and amenities.

“Why indoor air quality matters – creating sustainable future working environments"

 Johanna Trüstedt, Drees & Sommer Schweiz AG Zurich/Switzerland

Abstract: The purpose of the paper is to raise awareness about the quality of indoor air with hands-on information for project owners and designers on how to create a healthy indoor environment. Air quality has a great impact on health and productivity of a building’s occupants, but they’re still not regulated with norms, as light and noise are. Indoor air quality is the next intangible material which must be addressed in the interior design process. PM (particle matters) and harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are formally labelled as toxic when they are inhaled in a certain quantity and during an extensive time, but these are mostly not considered. PM come mainly from outdoor air through windows, or the mechanical ventilation system, into indoor spaces. Harmful VOCs are very common in building materials, and indoor air tests show that the quantity exceeds the recommended limits. Greenery is a solution to provide oxygen and it is proven that plants also decontaminate indoor air regarding VOCs. Nevertheless, the best solution is not bringing in building materials and products such as furniture, which give off harmful chemicals.

The issue is the immense amount of time needed to vet healthy building materials. Screening materials is a long process, since the manufactures don’t have to indicate the ingredients of their products and there are still no regulations which prohibit the use of harmful chemicals. Sustainability certifications of materials and internet platforms of sustainable building materials are a great help for choosing healthy materials. Furthermore, the choice of healthy materials is still very small, and it is difficult for designers and project owners to follow through the design intention. The battle for clean indoor air starts with raising awareness. Project owners and designers need to request the market to provide healthy materials.

"Digital WorkPlace Atlas – An online library for implemented new work projects"

Andreas Kuehne, Sipho Fuhr, Joshua Thiele, BAUAKADEMIE Performance Management GmbH Berlin/Germany

Abstract: This paper aims to establish a framework for assessing and comparing implementation space projects from different companies and industries. Based on the findings the paper aims to create a comparability concept for different projects. The introduction of new office concepts by changing the workplace and the office environment has become quite important over the last years. Yet, due to the newly gained importance of this topic and due to privacy or non-disclosure policies of companies, it is very difficult for companies to access conducted workplace projects by other companies. This puts both sides at a disadvantage. For companies that implemented a new project it is not clearly possible to evaluate on the implementation success. Companies facing an upcoming project cannot use previously conducted projects as guidelines, which causes avoidable challenges for them.

The paper outlines a possible framework based on literature review and conducted studies, how to measure and compare different space projects by dividing the project into different categories, groups and subcategories. Doing so, a measurable framework was created. To allow comparability between different projects a point system for every criterion was developed and weighting factors where defined in order to incorporate the different impact of the criteria on the overall score of the space project. The framework has proven itself in initial practical applications. With increasing empirical data, the individual criteria can be evaluated with regard to their influence on user satisfaction in the overall project.