LEED and WELL Buildings Improving Air Quality for Bangkok As Pollution Concerns Increase

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Bangkok’s awareness of the importance of clean air has massively increased over the last 3 months, as Thailand has suffered from an unprecedented level of air pollution. Elevated levels of microscopic particulate matter (PM2.5) can cause significant health issues, and the city is now focused on long-term solutions for improving air quality.

Public awareness of the importance of clean air was highlighted in the recent Nielsen survey commissioned by The PARQ development, revealing bad indoor air quality as office workers’ main concern. Respondents rated ‘good indoor air quality’ (64%), ‘access to natural light and views’ (45%) and ‘plants and green spaces’ on premises (40%) as key factors in driving productivity and wellbeing.

With more than 90% of people’s time spent indoors, buildings need to provide indoor surroundings that ensure a healthy living and working environment. To protect employees and tenants from poor air quality and harmful particles, leading developers in Thailand’s capital are turning towards greener buildings and embracing international certification standards like LEED and WELL.

“Our purpose as a responsible developer is to enrich the lives of those who spend time in our buildings, whether through its human-centric and sustainable design, energy efficiency, resource efficacy, or seamless operational practices. Sustainability is as much about the environment as well as human sustainability, as in making it a priority to ensure people’s sustainable wellbeing.” said Ms. Su Lin Soon, CEO – Development, The PARQ.

 

Urban Development Driving Sustainability Through LEED & WELL

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a framework for creating green buildings and achieving LEED certification is a globally recognised standard for sustainable buildings. As on the world’s most popular green building rating systems, LEED aims to lower a building’s impact on the surrounding environment and people by using sustainable building materials and processes, resource optimization and low carbon emissions, as companies are seeking for higher quality office spaces, capable of boosting productivity and promoting employee wellbeing.

WELL is a set of building standards aimed at delivering improved human health through design, rethinking buildings from materials to air ventilation to lighting, integrating best practices in design and construction with evidence-based medical and scientific research to support human health and wellbeing. The total global footprint of WELL registered projects is in excess of 224 million sq. ft., with wellness real estate representing $134b globally, according to the Global Wellness Institute.

Issued by the US Green Building Council and International Well Building Institutes respectively, LEED and WELL have multiple levels, with truly sustainable world-class developments awarded the highest levels of certification. So far just 20 projects in Thailand have been awarded LEED’s highest certification, LEED Platinum, despite a 70% increase in registrations in 2018.

 

Bangkok’s Green Building Trend Now Underway

A LEED and WELL-certified development in Thailand can not only drive new standards for quality of living, but also seamlessly integrate other smart and convenient features: from purified drinkable water provided throughout the building to extensive natural light and glare-free environment proven to boost energy levels and reduce fatigue. LEED and WELL requires a variety of wellness facilities, including healthy food choices, spa and gym facilities, art installations and access to green spaces.

The PARQ aims to be Thailand’s first development to achieve both LEED and WELL certifications. Located on the next to Benjakitti Park on the fast-growing Rama IV innovation corridor connected to QSNCC MRT Station, The PARQ will set a new benchmark for office buildings, where the concept of sustainability has driven a design and features where work-life balance is promoted throughout.

High-performance air filtration, microbe and mould control will provide occupants with unparalleled indoor air quality, while The PARQ’s ‘healthy entrances’ feature will see the utilization of a pressure differential system that will ensure no harmful agents can enter the building. Drawing on LEED and WELL principles, the building will also contain sensors performing continuous monitoring, allowing for adjustment of indoor air pressure to control the air flow at all its six entrances. Through a focus on energy efficiency in every aspect, the benefits also drive better air quality for the rest of the city, as emissions, heat and even impact during construction phase are minimised in line with LEED requirements. For office tenants, the better air quality plus increased utilities efficiency combined with innovation in Smart technology and staff friendly features such as EV chargers, drinking water, green areas can pay off, with ongoing cost savings and improved staff retention.

“The PARQ is an innovative wellness-focused workplace development as it sets new standards for quality of life for the people who work here. LEED and WELL building standards work symbiotically to ensure that buildings and communities preserve precious resources for a brighter future. It was important for us to aim to pioneer this for Thailand, to present the best manifestation of work-life spaces.” concluded Ms. Su Lin Soon, CEO – Development, The PARQ.

With sustainable buildings such as The PARQ, LEED and WELL initiatives can help to attract global standard businesses where their workforce can enjoy a high quality of life, driving Bangkok forward as ASEAN’s major business hub.