ResearchHealth and safety concerns are driving US building improvements during Covid-19

Content Team8 months ago5 min

A new Energy Efficiency Indicator survey carried out in the US and published by building technology giants Johnson Controls reveals that 76% of those surveyed believe that protecting the health and safety of occupants during emergencies is a very or an extremely important driver of investment.

The survey was fielded online to 150 energy and facility management executives across the U.S. between September 11, 2020 through October 5, 2020.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to improve the health and safety of buildings, particularly by increasing their ability to operate under different conditions, both planned and unforeseen,” said Clay Nesler, vice president of global energy and sustainability at Johnson Controls. “Though the pandemic has altered how people are investing in their buildings, occupant health and energy efficiency continue to be top of mind and we anticipate these investments will be a priority in 2021 as more people return to shared spaces.”

Despite reduced occupancy, the study found that facility energy use dropped surprisingly little during the pandemic, with less than 10 percent of facilities reducing energy use more than 20 percent.

Indoor air quality has become one of the most pressing issues for facility managers to address

Investments in Air Quality and Flexibility

As the world learns more about the spread of Covid-19 through aerosol transmission, indoor air quality has become one of the most pressing issues for facility managers to address. The survey found that 79 percent have already or are planning to increase air filtration, three-quarters have already or are planning to install an air treatment system and 72 percent have already or are planning to increase outdoor air ventilation rates.

The majority of respondents, 81 percent said that increasing the flexibility of facilities to quickly respond to a variety of emergency conditions was very or extremely important driver of investment.

Path to Net Zero Buildings

The study found growing interest in net zero energy buildings and resiliency, with 70 percent of organisations very or extremely likely to have one or more facilities that are nearly zero, net zero or positive energy or carbon status in the next ten years – an increase of seven percent from 2019.

To download a summary of the 2020 Energy Efficiency Index, click here.

For more content around US Building Commitments, click here


Survey methodology:

This independent survey was fielded online to 150 energy and facility management executives across the U.S. between September 11, 2020 through October 5, 2020. Of respondents, 27 percent held roles in commercial organisations, 37 percent in institutions, 23 percent in industry and 13 percent in other organisations.

Content Team

Work in Mind is a content platform designed to give a voice to thinkers, businesses, journalists and regulatory bodies in the field of healthy buildings.

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