For so many people, the majority of waking hours are poured into work. By extension, this means a significant chunk of time is spent in the office – perhaps more even than is spent at home.
The health and wellbeing of workers is a relatively new topic of conversation, and it’s fast gaining traction. But whereas much of mainstream talk has been dedicated to small-scale wellbeing measures, such as the now ubiquitous standing desk, it’s arguably the building itself that contributes the most to the collective and ongoing wellbeing of its workers.
In this issue, we explore buildings that work nine to five and beyond to keep their inhabitants healthy and productive. In Queensland’s Fortitude Valley, for instance, we have Floth, Australia’s first 6-star Green Star Design-rated building, which automatically regulates CO2 levels of the interior.
In a considered piece on the rise of ‘intelligent’ building management systems, we have a case study from Victoria that demonstrates how automation of a council building’s air displacement and temperature systems has enhanced both internal work environments and productivity.It's not just workers’ health that benefits from high-performing buildings, however.
The efficiency of a commercial building also has a significant effect on the wellbeing of our environment. In a feature on glass façades, we discover that only four out of the 3,778 150-metre-plus buildings ever constructed have been demolished, and learn about the ongoing effects of poor-performing buildings to sustainability outcomes. Across a series of other pieces – on lift design and energy harnessing, to name a couple – we explore potential solutions of varying scales.
For the team here at Architecture & Design Magazine, this issue was a timely one. We found ourselves writing about innovations in the commercial space just as our own office was undergoing some of its most significant changes in recent history.
After 3.5 years as part of the InDesign Media family, former A&D editor Nathan Johnson has moved on from his post, leaving some quite substantial shoes to fill.
So substantial were these shoes that we’ve taken four feet to fill them. Just over a month ago, I was fortunate enough to find myself, as assistant editor, the newest member of the Architecture & Design office.
Soon, I will be joined by Branko Miletic – the 2002 Bell Award-winner for Editor of the Year – who brings to his new role as A&D editor a long and formidable history in the industry.
To state the obvious, change is a natural part of any life – inside and outside the office, from individuals to whole industries. As we continue to grow and learn and progress, all we can hope for is that any transformations we undergo along the way will ultimately be for the better.