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In today’s era, many are still looking for ways to improve occupants’ comfort when buildings are built with impressive designs with great concepts. But often ignore the comfort of its occupants. this is what is needed for indoor activities. Practical aspects and comfort are often overlooked in favor of a magnificent appearance.
Every decision in designing and maintaining a facility is made by the building design team, building owner, facility management, and facility manager.
Their decisions affect the occupant’s experience, so it’s important to be careful with those decisions and design changes. Here are some ways in which you can increase not only occupant comfort but also the peak efficiency of the facility.
The first unique way to improve occupants’ comfort is the precision air cooling system. Air conditioning plays an important role in cooling the temperature inside the facility. Without an air conditioning system, all electronic devices from telecommunications to printers to computers may tend to overheat. Overheated equipment can increase the room temperature in the building and make occupants uncomfortable.
Building management must be prepared to provide cooling systems in the building such as air conditioners, fans and portable air-to-air cooling systems. Air-to-air systems do not completely replace air conditioning in buildings but help building managers provide coolness in certain areas or during facility failures.
Most portable cooling systems just need to be plugged into an outlet and let hot air out of a nearby window. A simple fix for this is to ensure that the HVAC system is regularly maintained by changing the heating coils and changing filters regularly.
This air conditioning system can make a huge difference to occupant comfort between continuing to function during operation due to routine maintenance or shutting down due to failure (Intermatic, 2018).
The second unique way to improve occupants’ comfort is the arrangement of the Warm and Cold Air stratification schedule. Ceiling height is also a key factor in determining proper air stratification, air ventilation and cool temperature in the room.
With the correct ceiling height, air stratification or layering effects allow large air pockets of different temperatures to remain intact where the upper zone is the hottest area while the lower zone where the occupants are is the coolest.
The way to control stratification is to drop hot air from upstairs and mix it with cold air from downstairs. The warm air rises to the ceiling while the cold air stays on the floor, therefore, a cooling system must be provided immediately.
For warmer climates, higher ceilings are suitable in facilities that lower the room temperature and provide good air ventilation whereas, for colder climates, lower ceilings help warm the area. As a building manager looking to prevent energy wastage, reduce electricity bills and comfort issues from overcooling or overheating, this additional knowledge is essential for incumbents (Reiling, 2008).
A third unique way to improve occupants’ comfort is to create visually productive empty spaces. Residents expect to feel comfortable when they arrive at a facility whether it’s for shopping, work or meeting other people on a daily basis. Lighting creates an atmosphere that produces just the right amount of light which helps increase productivity and efficiency.
Lighting should be properly maintained and installed every part of the building to fulfill its specific function for people like in parking areas, meeting rooms, workplaces, lobbies, bathrooms, corridors, etc.
Providing natural light can also illuminate the area and save on electricity bills. For example, a typical cubicle office environment lacks a productive appearance and atmosphere and high partitions block sunlight from entering the workplace which should have enlivened and lightened them in the first place.
An office with the right lighting and balanced colors is fun to look at, work with, and increase productivity. It is very important to provide residents with outdoor and natural views whenever possible (Reiling, 2008).
The fourth unique way to improve occupants’ comfort is regular Tenant education. Talking to tenants and requesting change is not that simple. However, discussion and education are the best solutions to provide a comfortable area before workers are placed in these conditions. Another way is to move staff in a different area from the hot and cold areas of the office.
For example, windows in the office are the most desirable places to work for people but it depends on the situation. When staff are made aware and educated about the fact that double glazing helps keep heat in the building. And benefits from energy efficient summers and colds. Only then can employees decide whether to change their work location inside or not.
Office or do they not mind the hot sun. If they want to be air conditioned most of the time, then they are more likely to go downhill than accept those conditions for a beautiful view.
The fifth unique way to improve occupants’ comfort is a strategy for noise reduction. Noise can create stress, distraction, reduce concentration, low performance, be unproductive and interfere with communication. The design of the building can minimize vibration noise as walls act as partitions between rooms and minimize listening to external sounds.
In designing soundproof areas especially for meeting rooms and for plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems that promote more privacy and less disturbance, install special resistant floor and ceiling tiles with special materials that absorb more sound than normal tiles require.
Carpets, rugs, and rubber flooring can also reduce noise in the space. Another way to reduce noise is to provide triple-glazed windows in buildings to reduce outside noise entering the facility such as annoying noises from heavy traffic and building construction (Reiling, 2008).
The sixth unique way to improve occupants’ comfort is embrace era automation. Technology is improving from year to year but this situation is not completely possible to replace us as humans. On the other hand, automation systems help human labor become more efficient and avoid wastage. For example, adjusting the temperature or safety level according to the user’s preferences should be based on the location of the employee.
This system allows full control of the user and monitor the building effectively. The medical industry, for example, must control automated medical records which can provide sufficient information and improve communication between providers.
Other progressive technology automation solutions such as the availability of elevators, new patient beds, nurse call systems, drug bar codes and medical records that affect the patient’s condition (Reiling, 2008).
The seventh unique way to improve occupants’ comfort is the availability of software applications for facility maintenance. Traditionally, facility managers have relied on memory, experience, looking through piles of blueprint paper and spreadsheets in a cluttered planning space to manage facilities.
Without facility management software and advanced technology, it creates chaos to manage and this situation, in turn, can lead to costly repairs in buildings. If the facility manager has to leave the organization and replace with a new, inexperienced employee, there will be a lack of knowledge and information transfer to the next person due to unavailable data and undocumented records.
Manual documents often duplicate data information incorrectly and affect routine maintenance schedules with incorrect appointment times which can infuriate residents. Relevant software will help maintain all records and prior knowledge, organize information and save time for work orders, tasks and processes via online platform or QR code, etc.
The eighth unique way to improve occupants’ comfort is information on how to reduce Fatigue. Fatigue causes human error and has a negative impact on performance, mood, productivity, and alertness. For example, some employees work long hours and a large workload causes burnout.
Alternatively, information technology can reduce reliance on memory and information, providing facilities that make all the materials that reduce the distance employees have to travel, natural lighting, function rooms and carpet flooring designed to minimize fatigue and increase performance, instead.
The nine unique ways to improve occupants’ comfort in public facilities are the shared safety considerations. Facility managers are also responsible for protecting confidential company data and the safety of people to prevent loss of company assets and revenues.
Therefore, one way is to improve security systems such as increasing security in buildings with professional security officers and CCTV cameras available which operate 24 hours every 7 days every week. Installing or updating firewalls and encryption software to avoid unauthorized access from hackers and unwanted people is also fundamentally important.
People are always mistaken that a single technological system seems capable of securing an entire building. In fact, we need a lot of technology with open systems that integrate all information and operating systems as well as a human management team that is responsible for enforcing physical and physical security on an ongoing basis (Reiling, 2008).
The last unique way to improve occupants’ comfort in public facilities is with the right layout of the office environment. Room layout is the key to improving worker performance and comfort. The extra space in a room allows people to easily make furniture arrangements and supplies storage for cleaning supplies.
It also provides privacy to guests and employees in an office environment. Comfortable sofas, tables, chairs, natural lighting, and internet connections must be provided properly.
Positioning facility equipment also determines its service life. Placing the appliance near a heating source or hot area causes the machine to overheat, therefore it is best to place it on a cool wall and at a suitable temperature.
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