US offices could do much more to improve their energy efficiency and create a ‘greener’ work environment, according to a survey by IBM.
“As automobiles, transportation systems, electrical grids and other modern systems are achieving greater efficiency, many office buildings remain rooted in the past,” says Rich Lechner, vice president for energy and environment at IBM.
But according to the company’s survey of nearly 6500 office workers in 16 US cities, only 33% rate the office buildings where they work as “somewhat”, “very” or “extremely” high in terms of environmental responsibility.
Los Angeles comes top, with the greatest proportion of offices using automatic control systems to adjust light and temperature levels when rooms are occupied and employing renewable energy sources like solar.
The city recently came top of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s ranking of US cities with the most Energy Star labelled buildings, with a total of 293 in 2009.
San Francisco, Boston and Atlanta are following on LA’s heels, but cities like Washington DC, Philadelphia and Phoenix appear to be lagging behind.
But IBM’s survey indicates that a majority of office workers (79%) already take some conservation action with water and electricity, and would do more it they were rewarded for the effort.
Making office buildings more energy efficient can result in huge cost savings, says Lechner, improving a company’s bottom line and creating a healthier, more productive workforce.
“Urban environments are experiencing growth at a rate where better efficiency at the system level is key,” he says.
For further information:
LA tops list of energy efficient buildings (25-Mar)
US green building sector to contribute $554 billion to economy by 2013 (13-Nov 2009)
US must act now on inefficient buildings, says report (26-May 2009)
Energy efficient buildings more attractive to buyers and renters (2-Apr 2009)
05 May 2010