But how much energy have we actually saved over the last 3 months? Stuck at home, not driving anywhere, not going to the office, not using public transport or doing any exercise.
These are surreal times. Many professions have been severely impacted and are non-operational. Others can barely find the time (or staff) to get anything done. The construction sector is facing a huge task, with increasing demand for thousands of new homes, greater sustainability of real estate, better energy ratings, sustainability goals, new logistics real estate, energy+ offices, largescale replacement of social housing. In short: plenty to do. At there same time, other challenges include a shortage of qualified professionals, rising wage costs, environmental legislation, CO2 restrictions, nitrogen requirements, PFAS issues, the coronavirus crisis, and the prospect of an economic crisis and changing legislation.
How do we handle this situation? It’s great that there’s no traffic congestion, but what else does it mean besides the tension of an impending economic crash? Does anyone really know?
The Netherlands has a population of approximately 17.5 million. There are over 9 million buildings, of which 7.9 million are residential buildings and over 1.1 million are non-residential buildings, which can be classified as follows: 200,000 industrial spaces, 129,000 shops, 126,000 accommodation units, 96,000 offices, 62,000 meeting spaces, 23,000 healthcare facilities, 14,000 education institutions, 9,700 sports facilities, 58 detention centres, 50,000 multi-purpose spaces and 440,000 areas designated for other uses.
The 96,000 offices have a collective floorspace of approximately 47 million m2.
The ‘new normal’: Every office worker to work from home an average of 2 days a week.
Apart from COVID 19, these are the 3 key elements that will change the real estate market and transport infrastructure:
Employees working 2-3 days per week at the office with 1.5m social distancing and one-way walking routes.
Companies ensuring safe, healthy and flexible workplaces with the help of desk sharing and accurate occupancy and environment data.
Monitoring social distancing at peak hours and flow inside metro stations nearby high-traffic areas.
But what impact will this have on the environment? What kind of reduction in required office space and CO2 emissions would we see, and how sustainable would that be?
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