Commercial building managers must future-proof their lighting systems in response to the major shift towards more flexible working models, according to a lighting group.
Tamlite Lighting says that with a growing number of employees adopting a hybrid working style, office buildings will need to prepare for reduced occupancy levels and changes in density ratios. This is backed by an independent survey carried out by the British Council for Offices (BCO). It found that Britain is set to move to a ‘mixed’ working style, as time in the office is balanced with time at home.
As a result, Tamlite says it is important for building managers to ensure that they have greater control and flexibility of their lighting systems. The key to achieving this will be investment in the integration of the latest lighting control systems.
In addition, these systems can help to align building performance with any net-zero ambitions companies may have through reduced energy consumption.
This is particularly timely following the publication of guidance from the UK Green Buildings Council (UKGBC) on delivering net-zero carbon buildings, with a government consultation on energy performance disclosure for commercial buildings expected by the end of this year (2020). The NABERS UK programme has also recently been launched. It measures the energy efficiency, water usage, waste management and indoor environment quality of a building or tenancy, and its impact on the environment.
Colin Lawson, head of market intelligence at Tamlite, said: “The commercial property sector may be undergoing a period of change. However, the death of the office should not be exaggerated. Whilst employees’ working habits are changing, there is still a strong desire to spend time in the office.
“The real estate sector is faced with a double-pronged challenge. There is now a top-down commitment by many organisations to reduce carbon emissions, plus it is more important than ever to create working environments that are fit for purpose now, and in the future. Lighting has a key role to play in achieving both these ambitions.
“As the need for lighting systems to perform both effectively and cost-effectively has become more acute, so has the demand for solutions that offer a greater degree of control, flexibility and connectivity. Incorporating controls and sensors in an office environment means the right levels of illumination can easily be provided when and where it’s needed. It also allows building managers to make informed decisions on how the building is being used and make corresponding amendments to lighting schedules and settings.”