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Close to 600 participants heard from a panel of built environment experts on how green buildings can help organisations prepare for the new business as usual via a special webinar organised by the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) on 26 May 2020.

 

As Singapore gets ready to exit the Circuit Breaker period through a phased approach from 2 June 2020, employees are preparing their return to the workplace. While working-from-home has gone through the crucible over the past few weeks to become the new norm, offices and other workplace premises still cannot be completely done away with. Our workplaces must be made ready and safe for employees to return.

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The built environment, being where we spend the majority of our time in, have key roles to play in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of its occupants. Green buildings, with their emphasis on occupant health and wellbeing on top of environmental sustainability, form an additional layer of protection against harmful pathogens and indoor pollutants. Worldwide, building-based prevention and control measures have become one of the most important methods of fighting against the effects of the pandemic.

During the special webinar put together by SGBC, participants got a close look at how our buildings can prepare for the resumption of work and the new business as usual. The webinar covered three main topics delivered by industry veterans from SGBC Member organisations (NUS, Beca and Keppel Land): the role of indoor air quality and ventilation systems in reducing airborne pathogens, how to reoccupy buildings the right way as well as how industry players are facilitating the return to work.

In the words of SGBC President Dr. Ho Nyok Yong during his opening address, "Think of green buildings as a giant N95 facemask, protecting you from harmful toxins the moment you step in. Green buildings also take into consideration other factors such as lighting and acoustic comfort to promote and protect the health of its occupants." 

As we prepare to return to the office, we must ensure that the buildings we live, work and play in are buildings we can live with.