Workplace Re-Entry 101: Why choose green buildings as your next office

As many industries move to expedite their recovery from the severe impacts of COVID-19, the inevitable return to the office has been a point of concern. Globally, sustainable developments have been recognized as a key contributor in helping more companies transition back to the post-lockdown world.

The World Economic Forum believes that a green recovery must be kickstarted. Apart from having access to healthier food or improved social mobility, sustainability is a much more resilient approach in planning infrastructure found in our cities and neighborhood. It is ideal to start constructing better structures or refurbishing existing ones for a greener space given its holistic benefits.

According to the World Green Building Council, green buildings could help in the fight against COVID-19 or any public health emergencies through two key elements: prevention and control. These estates go beyond the minimum health protocols of physical distancing and isolation through its building based measures.

Pushing for sustainable spaces cover the basics of community management, disinfection, environmental cleaning, access to medical assistance, and ventilation. Most green buildings feature natural ventilation, improved indoor air quality and filtration, and efficient waste management. It can also employ It Destination-oriented allocation system elevators and include biophilic design to their overall workplace design.

For LEED-accredited buildings, the efficiency of water, air, and energy systems are prioritized and monitored beyond cost or responding to the concerns brought about by the pandemic. As a pre-certified Silver LEED building, JEG Tower @ One Acacia has made sure that its Heat, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system are sealed even during construction. It also installed the MERV-13 filter to further protect the health of the occupants and the environment they work in.

As more buildings move to highlight their health performance, other developments add UV-C sanitation measures to their office or commercial amenities and fixtures. In Cebu, JEG Tower also takes notes of key disinfection measures dedicated to common areas such as the bathrooms. The building is equipped with the most-hygienic hand dryers that have HEPA filters and anti-bacterial additives to avoid contamination in their spaces.

Countless smart technology can be used to offer premium green offices. According to the Singapore Green Building Council, taking advantage of innovative systems, buildings will be able to adjust to the post-COVID-19 environment with improved safety and sustainability. This can be seen in sensor-enabled entry through automatic doors, self-check thermal scanners, and foot handles that can be utilized for a touchless or contactless experience that adds inherent protection to these spaces.

Beyond the investment in physical health and better working environments, patronizing a green recovery will also help boost the economy. According to the World Bank, it can bring more jobs in the short term and consistent growth in the long run as investing in natural capital, resource efficiency, and sustainable and clean energy production have a higher economic multiplier.

The shift to sustainability will definitely provide better opportunities to transition better to the new normal and grow a healthier community, safer spaces, and a much more resilient economy globally.

Looking to expand or locate to a green building? Contact Lorenzo Rodriguez at +63 917 825 6884 or send an email to lorenzo.rodriguez@kmcmaggroup.com to discuss your options.

Well & Green: How JEG Tower @ One Acacia delivers the best workplace in Cebu

The inevitable anxiety of returning to the workplace amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic becomes more pressing recently. More companies are looking to locate in premium offices that are safe and conducive for working without losing sight of occupants’ health and wellness.  

A more sustainable approach to building construction has paved the way for making this possible. Going green is typically tied to being environmentally friendly. According to the World Green Building, real estate and construction are the top industries responsible for 39% of global energy-related carbon emissions. 

With the Net Zero initiative aiming for decarbonization by 2025, JEG Tower @ One Acacia goes beyond sustainable as it seeks to pandemic-proof its spaces with building-based prevention and control measures that benefit both the environment and the workforce. As one of the LEED buildings in Cebu, the tower is built from recyclable construction materials from steel to cement made from coal-fire powerplant waste.  

Beyond the green aspect, it takes on the responsibility of ensuring that its immediate community is safe by adhering to minimum public health standards, physical distancing, disinfection, and biophilic design. 

RELATED: Pushing Sustainable Offices: Leveraging smart technology for safety, productivity 

JEG Tower has focused on pivoting the evolving needs of the workplace in the post-lockdown business landscape. Through the intelligent utilization of technology, automatic sliding doors have been installed in the main entrance for touchless access to the building. 

Thermal scanners in the tower are wired and can automatically take your temperature through a sensor without assistance. In place of contact tracing efforts, employees will use the free-standing scanners by the main entry point while guests must get their temperature through a tabletop scanner available in the reception area where they will also be asked to register. 

Understanding the risk of infection in common areas where most people often congregate, JEG Tower @ One Acacia has added anti-bacterial fixtures and above standards filtration to minimize risks. MERV-13 filtration has been installed to complement its energy-efficient Heat, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system to improve indoor air quality and sanitation.  

Frequent handwashing is also encouraged as the building’s bathrooms are equipped with the best and fastest hand dryers to date. Accredited by the NSF and HACCP International, the Dyson Airblade is recognized as the fastest and most hygienic due to its built-in HEPA filters, anti-bacterial additive, and touch-free operation. 

RELATED: The Future of Workplace: Contactless features and smart technology 

Employing Airblade technology is also low on energy consumption and is environmentally friendly as it records up to 79% less CO2 and up to 76% less in paper towel use. True to its commitment to being an iconic green estate, it also allocated ample space to its Material Recycling Facility and has amply situated 5 recycling bins for paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, and glass. 

Moreover, according to the Singapore Green Building Council’s in-depth research, biophilia and views are one of the top seven facets often associated to a green and healthy office. JEG Tower @ One Acacia uses this concept to upgrade the working environment by designing spaces that allow for maximum views and natural light. It also features a green roof that can help reduce stress and encourage sociability and movement.  

Explore your premium office options in Cebu. Contact Michael Glindro at (+63) 917-584-0443 or send an email to mike.g@kmcmaggroup.com

Championing Sustainability: How JEG Tower gives back to Cebu workforce

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a shift in priorities around the world. Its impacts have been far-reaching and have affected multiple sectors and industries. In Philippine real estate, current developments or estates have been quick to rethink the commercial and office spaces that they are offering.  

Traditionally, the office is seen as a place of work where the employees are usually measured by the output produced. As the pandemic persists, the clear line that divides work and life blurs and so a more efficient integration is required.  

According to experts, integration is all about synergy, not trade-offs. The same mindset can then be applied to the building of sustainable yet premium spaces that fosters a productive environment without sacrificing public safety and wellness.  

JEG Tower @ One Acacia envisions a workplace in Cebu that puts its occupants’ health as its top priority. JDC has taken a holistic approach in ensuring that employees feel taken care of by providing them a space that is designed to respond to their need for protection not only physically but mentally.  

RELATEDSustainable Design: Impacts to New Normal and Climate Change   

As one of the main proponents of sustainability in the metro, JEG Tower @ One Acacia prides itself as one of the leading LEED buildings that used environmentally friendly materials with recyclable content in its steel bars, glass, and solar reflective paint. It is also equipped with efficient and cost-saving energy, water, and waste systems that significantly lowers its carbon footprint and avoids other hazards posed to its immediate community.   

Keeping people in mind, JEG Tower has since upgraded its facilities to successfully navigate and secure the post-lockdown business landscape. Indoor air quality is improved through the installation of a state-of-the-art MERV-13 filtration system that effectively prevents viral transmission.  

RELATEDGetting ahead of the curve: ‘Disease proofing’ the new normal workplace  

Safer re-entry to the office is also guaranteed through the placement of thermal scanners and minimizing touchpoints through automatic doors and sensor-enabled fixtures in common areas such as elevators and restrooms. In compliance with strict social distancing protocols, JEG Tower also utilizes Destination Oriented Allocation System (DOAS) technology in their elevators to prevent the usual congestion by efficiently managing car allocation reduce wait and travel time.   

The rise of the outdoor office  

Workplace designers are also recommending the introduction of biophilic elements in these evolving spaces. Experts say that nature is truly beneficial to both productivity and wellness. Gensler Chicago’s Managing Director Todd Heiser added that spaces with high levels of choice, variety, and balance deliver an excellent experience at work.   

Beyond stress reduction, biophilic spaces outdoors are generally known to be inspiring. Steelcase Vice President Allan Smith said that it is also proven to enhance well-being. support hospitality and expand the workplace ecosystem to inspire creative collaboration further.   

RELATED: The Importance of Biophilic Design in a Post-Lockdown Office  

According to TIME, accessibility and quality of green spaces also matter in ensuring satisfaction and improving the human experience. In the Netherlands, residents reportedly better mental health and more emotional attachment when exposed to quality greenery.  

JEG Tower @ One Acacia has also integrated biophilic elements into their spaces. It dedicated 20% of the estate to greenspaces and features a unique green roof for recreational activities that encourage employee movement and sociability.  

Looking for a safe workplace post-lockdown? Reach out to Lorenzo Rodriguez at (+63) 917-825-6884 or email your inquiry to lorenzo.rodriguez@kmcmaggroup.com.   

JEG Tower @ One Acacia Showroom: What to expect?

As the completion of JEG Tower @ One Acacia gets nearer, potential building occupiers and office lessees can have a more realistic view and feel of how their workspace could look like through the building’s showroom.

Located on the tower’s 7th floor, the showroom will feature and demonstrate some of the reasons why you should consider locating your business at the best workplace in Cebu City.

JEG Development Corporation’s first high-rise venture has implemented sustainable design for all its office spaces. As one of the newest premium green buildings in Cebu, the office spaces at the JEG Tower elevate the human experience by promoting their health, wellness, and safety without compromising the condition and wellbeing of the planet. Each office unit aims to maximize benefits for the occupants’ well-being and improve their work performance and output.

 JEG Tower’s offices utilize the Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) air conditioning system that is more energy efficient and provides better indoor air quality for the building tenants. According to technical reports and ratings, this type of air conditioning system can reduce energy costs by up to 30 percent or more. VRF also has the potential to deliver long-term savings for building occupiers. 

Office tenants can also enjoy Cebu City’s captivating views from their workstations provided by the large windows on each unit. Larger windows are more ideal in a workplace environment as it allows maximum natural lighting for the employees’ comfort and health. Numerous studies have found that exposure to daylight and access to natural views improve employees’ moods and boost their morale. They are also found to be more productive if they are working in a setting with ideal and ample lighting.

JEG Tower’s bathrooms will also utilize innovative fixtures that conserve water and promote reduced water usage. The building’s greenspaces are also maintained by water efficient landscaping that ensures minimal water waste.

Watch out for JEG Tower @ One Acacia’s showroom updates soon! For site viewings, contact Lorenzo Rodriguez at (+63) 917-825-6884 or send an email to jegtower@kmcmaggroup.com. You may also call us at (+63) 2-8403-5519.

The Importance of Biophilic Design in a Post-Lockdown Office

The future of the workplace is now being shaped by the pandemic and its implications on health, socialization, and the ideal office set up for its occupiers’ security and safety. Many are proposing that a biophilic may be the most ideal workplace design in a post-pandemic era. A biophilic office became on-trend to ‘bring the outside in’. Biophilic offices aim to increase the connection between people and nature by incorporating natural elements through texture, scenery, and lighting into the actual workspace.

In the previous years, the shift towards promoting a greener space in the office has been greatly campaigned for. Studies find that incorporating biophilic design has a positive effect on the employees’ productivity, mood, and health. In fact, workplace strategists have reported that office spaces which introduce elements of nature have witnessed a decrease in the levels of mental fatigue among staff members and an increase in levels of workplace wellbeing.

RELATED: Building a ‘Biophilic’ Office: What is Biophilia and How can it Benefit your Business

Businesses prioritize the health and safety of their workforce as employees start coming back to the office amid the threats of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than strict precautionary measures protecting the physical health, employers should also cater to the emotional and mental well-being of their people.

Open Plan to Open Air

While many companies have resorted to shifting to a remote working scheme, others have slowly commenced their business re-entry strategies as lockdown restrictions ease. Moreover, employees believe that working from their homes is not really a viable long-term solution transitioning into the new normal. As the world adapts to the new ways dictated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the office evolves to attend to additional safety needs and requirements.

Frontrunners of a biophilic office argue that this office design will not only ensure the protection and safety of its occupiers, but it will also improve it as it addresses the overall wellness of people—from their physical to their psychosocial needs in the workplace. This should be given emphasis as ‘the boundaries between work and personal life are becoming more and more blurred’ given the different circumstances brought by the health crisis.

One of the simplest requirements for building a biophilic office is the introduction of plants and greenspaces within the work area. By introducing plants, either in pots or in the form of living green walls into the office environment, indoor air quality is improved as the vegetation can help in absorbing pollutants, toxins, and disease-carrying viruses. This can complement a building’s air filtration system that optimizes disease prevention.

Indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, related to the health and comfort of its occupants. Research has found that IAQ is two to five times worse than outdoor air quality. In fact, according to research by the US Joint Commission, 40 percent of all sickness absence is down to indoor air pollution or poor air quality.

One study has concluded that air filtration in the office as a response to the pandemic is very crucial in reducing transmission and cross infection within working environments.

READ MORE: JEG Tower Focus: MERV and Fresh Air System for Optimal Indoor Air Quality

Another study has confirmed that plants can remove harmful volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde and benzene, which can be commonly found in paint, carpeting, and furniture of most buildings. Plants can also bring vapor back into the air and prevent dry air that irritates sensitive membranes in the nose and throat, making employees more susceptible to viruses and allergens.

Biophilic offices can also greatly impact the mental health and cognitive function of employees, especially as they face more stress and anxiety in the time of a pandemic. According to research, while physically being inside a confined space, biophilic features such as green space and access to natural lighting can help reduce stress, anger, and anxiety. It can also lead to improved self-esteem and a better image of self in the long run.

Gensler reported that being exposed to nature through a biophilic office can help foster a more positive outlook within the workspace. Exposing employees to natural light, refreshing views, and fresh indoor air can create a more harmonious and positive outlook in the office.

Moreover, employees who are exposed to natural daylight are more productive and inspired to complete tasks at hand. Scientifically, sunlight boosts the creation of the body’s melatonin that regulates the sleep-wake cycle of people, creating a positive impact on their energy levels.

Interior design consultant Lloyd Coldrick noted that workplace design has the power to change the state of mind. He said, “We are all highly sensitive to the behavioral cues embedded in our environments and unthinkingly adjust our mannerisms, mood, and body language as we adapt to our surroundings.”

Investing in an office apt for the new normal? Reach out to Michael Glindro and know more about JEG Tower @ One Acacia. Call him at (+63) 917-584-0443 or send an email to mike.g@kmcmaggroup.com. For inquiries, call us at (+63) 2-8403-5519 or email jegtower@kmcmagroup.com.

JEG Tower Focus: MERV and Fresh Air System for Optimal Indoor Air Quality

Commercial buildings and public spaces play a huge role in the spread of diseases in communities. Offices are even identified as one of the locations where viruses spread quickly in a matter of hours given the amount of time employees spend inside these shared spaces. This fact is also supported by numerous studies that found germs, viruses, and disease-causing bacteria can travel through indoor air and circulation within said spaces. 

Similar to other enclosed areas, the circulated air inside offices can carry microbes through the building’s HVAC systems. Dr. Ali Khan, an epidemiologist and professor at the College of Public Health UNMC at the University of Nebraska, emphasizes the importance of indoor air quality, filtration systems and its maintenance. 

“The maintenance of HVAC systems and air filtration have an impact on how contaminants flow through the air,” Khan said. “If one person is sick, he or she could spread the germs through coughing and sneezing, touching surfaces, and contacting others closely. Even staying at their private desks, germs can also be spread by the flying droplets which settle on any surface and cause contamination”, she added. 

RELATED: Optimizing Buildings for Disease Prevention 

As a LEED-certified building, JEG Tower @ One Acacia improves the indoor air quality of the building from start to finish. It is designed and constructed to the highest standards for health and cleanliness, effectively reducing its tenants’ risk of exposure to harmful elements in the environment. 

From the construction phase, JEG Tower observes the Construction Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Management Plan. This measure is implemented by LEED-certified buildings to protect its HVAC system during construction, control pollutant sources, and interrupt pathways for infection. It also guides the sequence of installation of materials to avoid contamination of absorptive materials such as insulation, carpeting, ceiling tile and gypsum wallboard. 

READ MORE: How Green Buildings Improve Indoor Air Quality and Provide A Healthier Working Environment 

The 22-storey commercial development also utilizes the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values or MERV filters that can capture particles in the air from 0.3 and 10 microns (µm). Higher value in MERV ratings leads to better filtration, fewer dust particles and other airborne contaminants. JEG Tower utilizes the MERV13 filter which is one of the highest-grade filters in the industry. It promotes a healthy breathing environment, and it will not allow the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew, or fungi. Some MERV filters can even filter pollen, dust, and microscopic droplets in the air to a certain extent. 

JEG Tower @ One Acacia also implements the Fresh Air System. Fresh air is added to a heating or cooling system to achieve two indoor air quality goals: pressurize the building and increase in indoor air. According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), building occupants with little or no access to fresh air end up being more exposed to pollutants indoors compared to when they go outdoors. HVAC systems tend to circulate and recycle old air rather than drawing new and fresh air from the outside. 

It is vital to understand the importance of indoor air quality and how air conditioning systems work in optimizing the safety and protection of the building’s occupants. Committed to providing safer spaces in Cebu, JEG Tower @ One Acacia invests in the latest technology and follows the highest industry standards that set people’s health and wellbeing as top priority. 

Aiming to be the best place to work in Cebu City, JEG Tower prioritizes its occupants’ welfare by subscribing to the highest standards in the industry. This Grade A green building has achieved LEED BD+C: Core and Shell precertification at the Silver level, and will continue to earn more LEED points as it finishes construction in 2020. 

What is a ‘Healthy Workplace’?

A healthy workplace is an ideal place to work in. According to some research on employee behavior, one of the top three factors that employees look for in a job is a company’s commitment to health and wellbeing of its employees. This is given more emphasis as the world transitions to the new normal, giving a deeper definition to what a healthy workplace should look like.  

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently published a document defining what a healthy workplace should be, post pandemic. A healthy work environment is a balance of occupational health and safety, as well as health promotion efforts and initiatives. While there may be varied qualifications and qualities, the WHO has consolidated its concrete definition: 

“A healthy workplace is one in which workers and managers collaborate to use a continual improvement process to protect and promote the health, safety and well-being of workers and the sustainability of the workplace by considering the following, based on identified needs.”  

 Physical Work Environment 

Businesses can provide a healthy workplace by ensuring that the physical work environment is set to the highest industry standards and criteria. An ideal physical work environment ensures that the design and layout of the workplace is optimal for the comfort, productivity, and motivation of its employees. 

RELATED: Optimizing Buildings for Disease Prevention 

The US Green Building Council (USGBC) found that potential employees prefer working in an office located in a LEED-certified building, where their health and wellbeing are considered to be top priority. The same study found that workers based in a LEED-certified green building are found to be more satisfied on their job, and that 79 percent of the respondents agree that they would choose a job in a LEED-certified building over a non-LEED building. 

Uplifting health and safety in the physical work environment should cover indoor air quality, ventilation, maintained optimal humidity, and industry standard protocol for cleaning and maintenance. 

 Psychosocial Work Environment  

A healthy workplace should go beyond physical modifications and provide greater support to employees to their psychosocial needs. The 2018 Global Talent Trends survey found that one in two employees would like to see a greater focus on well-being at their company especially on the physical, psychological and financial wellness of its employees. 

A company’s culture contributes a huge role on the WHO’s definition of a healthy workplace. Programs organized and initiated by a company to promote healthy habits and uplift the general wellbeing of their employees should be holistic—providing focus not just on their physical wellbeing but looking after their mental health as well. One study also raises the issue of psychosocial hazards in the workplace that should be addressed by companies to promote a healthy workplace. These may include organizational culture and the attitudes, values, beliefs and daily practices, that can contribute as stressors to employees. 

Community Health and Wellbeing 

An ideal and healthy workplace is not bound by physical workstations and office floors, but should encompass communities. Providing a workplace setting that uplifts and prioritizes the overall health and wellness of its employees creates a huge impact on public health and vice versa. As active members of the community, employees who spend the majority of their day working in their offices should be in a work environment that ensures their holistic safety and wellbeing. 

RELATED: The Importance of Public Health in Communities 

Premium green buildings, such as JEG Tower @ One Acacia, invests in the well-being of its building occupiers by addressing health and wellbeing in a holistic approach. By following industry-set standards and optimizing building design and operations, it is one of the most ideal locations to work in Cebu City. JEG Tower puts a premium on their health, while practicing sustainability and energy efficiency. 

How Green Buildings Improve Indoor Air Quality and Provide A Healthier Working Environment

The campaign for cleaner air has been ongoing for years as the world battles air pollution. As the global health crisis continues, studies have been linking the spread of the pandemic with the bad air quality According to research from Harvard University, dirty air makes any virus more lethal.  

Working with different sectors, the World Green Building Council (WGBC) has long been combatting global air pollution by developing and setting standards for buildings and infrastructures. According to the World Green Building Council, now more than ever, green buildings play a very significant role in preventing and controlling viruses within communities and work environments.

The WGBC believe that sustainable buildings and cities are a key part of the solution that ‘reduces both the health and environmental impacts’ of air pollution. The organization has set guidelines on how green buildings can ensure the best indoor air quality within the property’s premises. In fact, one of the categories and criteria for a LEED Certification is indoor air quality. 

“Indoor air quality is one of the important criteria of LEED. It focuses on designing the ventilation and air-conditioning system to provide clean air into the building,” Michael Glindro, LEED AP BD+C said. “One of the ways to improve indoor air quality is to install high-MERV filters to reduce indoor air pollutants. This criterion focuses on the People aspect of the triple bottom line of LEED; People, Planet, Profit.

jeg-tower-one-acacia-bring-work-to-life-this-2020

LEED-certified buildings, like JEG Tower, were designed, constructed, and operates to high standards for health and cleanliness, they reduce the risk of exposing its tenants to infection, effectively preventing the spread of the virus within the building.  

USGBC requires green buildings to control the collusion of air and pollutants as well as the exhaust backflow of kitchens and bathrooms. Green buildings are also designed to set up effective water seals to reduce the risk of virus transmission through drainage pipes, optimizes the building space and plane layout to enhance the effectiveness of natural ventilation. Green buildings can also regulate and control air conditioning systems by zones and have a well-designed site wind environment for the dissipation of viruses and harmful gases.  

RELATED: In Focus: Cebu to Launch its first Sustainable ‘Smart Building’ Soon 

As regulated by the WGBC, green buildings are designed to regulate the water and air quality, fitness and antibacterial function building materials to promote occupant’s health to reduce the risk of getting the disease and enhance the ability to resist viruses.   

JEG Tower in Cebu uplifts the health and wellness of its tenants. Committed to revolutionizing work and life balance, the building has designed office spaces to maximize the use of natural daylight, allow better airflow within the space, and organize initiatives to encourage healthier living for everyone. 

RELATED: JEG Tower @One Acacia: Bring Work to Life this 2020 

Aside from protecting its tenants from virus cross-infection and improving their health, better indoor air quality also upgrades the working environment for office buildings. 

“Improving indoor air quality has been shown to increase business productivity through being a factor in reducing absenteeism due to health issues,” Glindro said. “After all, we do spend a majority of our day in the office so taking steps into creating a healthy work environment will benefit the triple bottom line.” 

Premium green buildings emphasize the importance of uplifting the quality of life of its tenants by ensuring that the highest standards for health and safety are observed and followed.