The Slovak Green Building Week has brought events that have focused attention on urgent topics of the present time. Colliers international, as part of the week, has actively joined professional discussion on the topic: How a healthier working environment influences employees and their performance?

The professional event Green Business Breakfast took place in Bratislava and Košice and brought experience of developers and facility managers, as well as personalists. As part of the Slovak Green Building Week, it was prepared by an association of accountable companies, Business Leaders Forum at the Pontis Foundation, in cooperation with the Slovak Green Building Council and other partners. The quality of the indoor environment in office spaces was discussed on the international level.

One of the lecturers was also Marek Vrbovský of Colliers International. In his lecture, he focused on what the term ‘green building’ means for tenants.

Green buildings

Is “green” decisive for companies?

“How the fact that a building is ‘green’ influences tenants?” This was the question Marek Vrbovský asked in the introduction of his lecture.

He pointed to the fact that, in the past, advantages of green buildings were seen primarily through the opportunities to reduce energy consumption of a building. In this respect, the securing of energy self-sufficiency with the use of renewable sources of energy was the key. From the economic point of view, however, such solutions at that time were very problematic due to the long period of the return of investment.

Thanks to modern technologies, green buildings are becoming the standard. The achievement of the required technical parameters by means of sustainable construction methods is increasingly easier.

From the point of view of real property professionals, green buildings, in comparison with older buildings, are more competitive. And in particular with respect to operating costs. Lower energy demand, induced by new legislation and the latest technologies, has influence on lower operating costs of a building, specifically up to 20 to 40 % in comparison with older buildings. That allows landlords to offer competitive rents in terms of overall rental costs. Effective management of green buildings therefore belongs to key tools of building owners in achieving profit.

What else tenants require

Current green buildings are not just technologically advanced but, first and foremost, provide a high quality of the working environment. When moving, besides the price, tenants always consider the location and transport accessibility, energy efficiency, quality of architecture, and the standard of the building and of the administrative rooms. In that respect, green buildings offer a huge advantage, which is appreciated in particular by employees in the form of an available healthy working environment with sufficient daylight and materials that do not endanger human health.

Satisfied, healthy and motivated employees mean better results of the business and better reputation of the company on the market. Therefore together with the green building trend, the trend of individual solution to a working environment (workplace solution) is also gaining importance.

Trends of near future

According to Marek Vrbovský, it is important that green buildings become the standard for developers and tenants. For that to happen, it will be essential to inform the general public about the impact of green buildings on health and on the environment. Many multinational corporations act as examples in this respect and they strive to make their headquarters in the world meet the highest ecological and energy standards. The spreading of green buildings, however, will be influenced by the ever stricter legislation. Therefore a building that will want to maintain its competitiveness on the market will have to focus on achieving the highest possible level from the point of view of long-term and sustainable impact on people’s health and on the environment.