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Smart could equal $1.5 trillion savings for office buildings

It has also announced the inception of the Philips Lighting Foundation to help those in communities underserved by electricity

Office building renovation will be a key factor in reducing emissions, said Philips Lighting
Office building renovation will be a key factor in reducing emissions, said Philips Lighting

Businesses around the world could achieve vast financial savings in reduced rental costs if their buildings were refurbished to the most efficient standards and in a way that uses space more effectively, new research finds.


According to analysis from Philips Lighting, rental rates across the world’s offices could be slashed by up to $1.5 trillion if business owners replicated the efficient usage of space achieved in leading green buildings.


To coincide with World Green Building Week, Philips Lighting is calling for a doubling of the renovation rate of offices in developed countries to reach 3 per cent per year, which will be a key factor in reducing emissions and offsetting increased demand for energy from population growth and urbanisation, it said.


The lighting company point to Deloitte having accomplished a 50 per cent reduction in space required per employee in The Edge building in Amsterdam compared to its previous premises The Chrystal Tower, through effective use of smart technology.


The Edge uses smart technology such as a connected LED lighting system that enables employees to personalise their lighting and temperature at their workspaces via a smartphone app, but also provides building managers with real-time insights on how the office is being used to help maximise operational efficiency.


But the potential rent reduction from optimising offices is just a small proportion of the total potential financial benefit to businesses, which also includes lower utility bills and significant gains in the productivity of employees, the largest cost to most businesses, said Philips.


“Renovating buildings to make them more energy efficient can have a huge beneficial impact on the environment, and when they are renovated properly to encompass smart technology, the additional financial impact for businesses can also be vast,” said Harry Verhaar, head of global public and government affairs at Philips Lighting.


“Our research looks at the potential savings in rent by optimising space whereas this is just scratching the surface of the financial gains that can be simultaneously made by using smart technology,” he added.


“We are calling for a doubling of the renovation rate of buildings primarily to help mitigate the harmful effects of climate change, but at the same time take advantage of some considerable commercial benefits to businesses.”


In a separate announcement, Philips Lighting has announced the inception of the Philips Lighting Foundation, an independent, non-profit organisation with a mission to provide sustainable access to light to people in communities that are underserved by electricity. To fulfill this mission the foundation partners with actors across the entire access-to-light value chain.


The company said it will support the foundation with resources, expertise and knowledge, and encourage employees to participate and support the foundation’s activities.


“The future of lighting is not just a matter of output, but a matter of unlocking the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world,” said Eric Rondolat, CEO of Philips Lighting.


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