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NABERS Carbon Neutral Buildings Record Higher Worker Activity Levels than the CBD Average

October 28th, 2022Connor Dixon

NABERS Carbon Neutral Certification is a staple in showcasing a buildings rigorous sustainability strategy. As more and more buildings are seeking to manage and track their emissions, many are looking beyond NABERS Energy ratings to full Carbon Neutrality. Carbon Neutral goes a step further than the original NABERS Energy Rating, recognising other sources of carbon emissions created from the building’s operations, including energy, water, waste and refrigerants.

A total of 61 office buildings in Australia have been awarded the Carbon Neutral Certification, highlighting their commitment to sustainability, innovation and industry leadership. As building owners employ a larger focus on the environmental credentials of their assets, the sustainability of a building will become increasingly important for attracting (and retaining) new premium tenants and increasing building value.

Within propella.office, our Worker Activity feature provides a standardised metric that allows comparison of worker activity levels between office buildings irrespective of building size and vacancy level. As part of the launch of the Sydney CBD Beta Program, we have aggregated the Worker Activity within the NABERS Carbon Neutral buildings (13 in total), and charted this against the Sydney CBD office building average.

The Worker Activity in the set of NABERS Carbon Neutral buildings is observed to consistently be trending above the Sydney CBD average. An observed Worker Activity Index peak of 20 is recorded in the NABERS Carbon Neutral buildings in March 2020, right before the first COVID-19 Lockdown in Sydney. Following a sharp decrease in Worker Activity as Sydney continued to stay in lockdowns, early June 2020 is when a gradual increase in Worker Activity is recorded as workers began returning to the office.

As Sydney continued to go in and out of lockdowns throughout 2020/2021, a new recorded peak Worker Activity is observed in late April 2021, a Worker Activity peak nearly 3/4 of the Pre-COVID recorded peak. As Worker Activity begins to gradually increase at the end of 2021, an assumption can be made that workers returned to the office for the end of year social functions.

From October 2021, as public health recommendations for masks to no longer be required in the office, the recorded Worker Activity for the Carbon Neutral Certified buildings in Sydney gradually increases and is observed to be consistently trending above the Sydney CBD Average.

Although a sharp decrease in Worker Activity in the Carbon Neutral Buildings can be seen around July 2022, the torrential weather recorded in Sydney is a strong factor as public transport shut down and working from home now seen as a more acceptable situation.

Throughout the observed study period, we can draw the conclusion that Carbon Neutral Certified buildings are consistently outperforming the Sydney CBD office building average in terms of worker activity. While a number of factors may be contributing to greater worker activity in these Carbon Neutral buildings, our findings conclude that buildings with a greater focus on sustainability and environmental impact are successfully attracting workers back to office buildings in the Sydney CBD.

To learn more about how energy ratings seem to effect Worker Activity in the office, you can read more here.

Or reach out today to gain insights specific to your building or precinct.

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