The future of the Concord Naval Weapons Station in Northern California. 5,046 acres, $6 billion estimated cost of build-out, 12,000+ housing units, 10 year time frame for first phase, and 6 million square feet of commercial space. (San Francisco Business Times, April 2015)
“Even the features that seem least work-related, such as game tables, can actually increase productivity by allowing employees to refresh, regroup and take in a change of scenery.” (Buildings, May 2015) Popular wellness features: sit-to-stand stations, treadmill desks, walking routes, ergonomic chairs adjusted to the user, healthy snacks, team exercise opportunities, foosball, video games, pool, and ping pong.
Mini-windmills on office building roofs – a number of years ago I predicted roofing systems integrated with solar collectors, I’ve written about office building window glass that collects solar energy, and I also predicted mini-wind turbines on office buildings. “Intel is turning the roof of its Santa Clara headquarters into a mini-wind farm with what it says is one of the largest micro-turbine arrays in the country.” (San Jose Mercury News, May 21, 2015) Just wait, these types of devices will keep getting more and more efficient and we will soon see the day when commercial buildings generate more electricity than they use. Now if we can solve our California water issues…
“Silicon Valley startup Ubiquitous Energy has begun to manufacture the world’s first transparent solar cells.” It is an invisible film that can stick to any surface to generate power. Just imagine a future where office building actually generate more power than used and sell the excess back to the grid. (National Real Estate Investor, 2nd Q 2015)
“As companies extol the values of collaboration and save on real estate by inching back toward the bullpen offices of the 1950s, workers given a choice would still really rather have an office. One study from The Center for the Built Environment at UC Berkeley asked workers about satisfaction with speech privacy and noise. The results? “In private offices, people were the happiest,” says CBE researcher David Lehrer. “In shared offices, people were also pretty happy. The satisfaction really dropped in any of the other conditions after that.” One of the top issues with open layouts is noise transmission. Steve Orfield, the president of Orfield Laboratories, studied acoustics and other elements of office design for the past 40 years, commented that for the most part sound masking won’t make a difference most of the time. (Tri-State Livestock News, May 2015)