India’s highest-ranking WELL Platinum-certified healthy building
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(YorkPedia Editorial):- Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu Jul 11, 2022 (Issuewire.com) – SIERRA ODC Private Limited, a Coimbatore based Software Development Company, is rated as the World’s 2nd Highest Ranking Green Building under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED NC v2009 rating system, and India’s Highest Ranking Green Building by IGBC Green New Building rating system, becomes the first software company in India to achieve WELL certification.
According to Statista, Americans spend 92% of their time indoors. Part of it may be due to the COVID19 pandemic, however, research reports indicate that the Internet and social media (average 2 hours 25 minutes per day) help bring everything indoors (you can order food, groceries, and pretty much anything online), and no one feels the need to stir out.
The United States Environment Protection Agency (EPA) concurs this and says that people spending practically an entire lifetime indoors face various health risks. You may have imagined that it is safe to remain indoors, but did you know that the air within buildings is seriously polluted according to studies conducted by the EPA?
A deep concern for the environment and the welfare of its employees were the significant factors that led to the creation of one of the healthiest and India’s highest-ranking WELL Platinum-certified workspaces – the eFACILITY® Building. Post-COVID, the workspace is proving to be doubly safe.
Rated under the WELL v2 rating system by the International WELL Building Institute, the eFACILITY® Building is the healthiest workplace in India today, scoring a whopping 86 out of 100 points for various indoor health parameters. Heaving a sigh of relief, the employees stream in every morning to work, knowing very well that they will remain healthy and safe while inside the premises despite the lingering threat of the pandemic and the consistently deteriorating air quality due to high pollution levels in the city.
The main pollutants in the city are the increasing industrial activity, and fossil fuel usage (Global carbon emissions from fossil fuels are steadily increasing, and CO2 emissions have increased by 90% since 1970. Also, 29% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions – it is the single largest contributor to U.S. CHG emissions). The pandemic is a recent phenomenon, but the more alarming fact is the PM 2.5 & PM 10 levels (caused by industrial and construction activities), which are increasing unabatedly in most cities. Added to that is the threat from the increased gas pollution like NOX, SOX, etc., because of industrial activity.
According to the McKinsey report, despite the pandemic, some critical activities like negotiations, crucial business decisions, brainstorming sessions, providing sensitive feedback, and onboarding new employees are better accomplished at the office than remotely.
With the primary focus on health, a green building like the eFACiLiTY® Building helps enhance employee productivity, safety, and general well-being. To become a WELL Platinum-certified workspace like SIERRA’s HQ, the eFACILITY®Building, you need to fulfill 10 WELL concepts like Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind, and Community. Also, WELL stipulates several mandatory credits across these 10 key factors, some of which earn you points, and some don’t, though both sets are equally significant.
WELL combines best practices in design, construction, and operations with evidence-based scientific research – harnessing buildings as vehicles to support human health and well-being. Beyond the physical features, WELL also informs the organization’s policies and protocols, from the benefits provided to the employees to the operational protocols followed to keep the space safer and healthier.
At the eFACILITY® Building, employee health is critical and treated with high priority. Spaces can positively impact each employee’s health, safety, and well-being. The company worked in tandem with the team at InHabit, a Coimbatore-based Green Building Consultant, to introduce other health-focused changes like ergonomic furniture, circadian lighting, pure, safe water, and ample outdoor space for physical activities.
On a more compassionate note, SIERRA allows its employees to take paid leaves to take care of elderly family members.
The software fraternity has always been under tremendous stress, SIERRA understands the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Even during the pre-COVID days, SIERRA implemented flexible work-from-home policies, and also offered part-time options to help employees be immediately available to take care of ailing/elderly family members. There is also the SIERRA Eldercare Support Policy that allows employees to make use of local support services and referral programmes available at the company.
The bereavement support policy allows eligible employees to avail of 5 days of paid leave per year in case of an unfortunate loss of a spouse, child, or parent. Eligible employees can also avail of 3 days of paid leave per year for the loss of a family member, colleague, or friend.
SIERRA has broad civic engagement policies including encouraging its employees to exercise their franchise and allowing them to take time off to cast their vote. Besides, this, employees are encouraged to participate in relief activities during catastrophes like floods, famine, etc. by contributing from their funds and voluntarily seeking donations elsewhere.
On a more personal note, SIERRA helps smokers in its family to kick the habit, thus helping the passive smokers in the building. To help wean away smokers from the habit, tobacco products are banned. Smoking inside and outside (immediate vicinity) of the building is strongly discouraged.
SIERRA goes out of its way to help smokers give up this unhealthy habit. Nicotine gum and patches are available at the reception and are distributed free of cost to people who are earnest about kicking the habit.
SIERRA’s eFACiLiTY® Occupant Wellness app contains knowledge-based articles on how to quit smoking. Smokers are encouraged to use the app to read such articles to learn about the ill effects of smoking.
The safety angle is probably one of the reasons why there’s a mad scramble to get hired in this leading software company that caters to international clients. While the applicants are many, only the best get hired.
Post-COVID, efficient workspace management is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of employees, especially in large office complexes where thousands of people work together.
First-time visitors to SIERRA’s eFACILITY® building will notice:
- Clinical Air Quality standards are at par with operation theatres in hospitals
- Strategically placed fresh-air fans with HEPA filters to ensure minimum CO2 levels (below 600PPM), and mobile alerts in place to warn people with chronic conditions like asthma or dust allergy.
- The eFACILITY® Smart Facility App helps employees maintain a healthy diet (it prevents them from ordering foods they are allergic to). It promotes healthy food options by providing details of ingredients with nutritional value.
- Legionella control, sediment filter, microbial elimination, and periodic water quality testing ensure high-quality water availability at all times in the facility.
- The eFACILITY® Occupant Wellness App caters to human health and wellness standards as specified under the WELL Building Standard. It helps monitor the physical activity, nutrition, and environmental parameters, promoting a healthier lifestyle.
- Clinically clean interiors, hallways, and staircases are designed aesthetically to add to the décor.
- SIERRA supports mental health & well-being through its commitment to providing mental health education, programming, and initiatives like standing desks, fitness equipment, etc.
- A sense of security knowing that SIERRA has developed an emergency management plan and supporting resources.
- Solar Panels on the façade of the office building (20 KW Bi-directional, with self-cleaning mechanism, and rooftop (60KW conventional rooftop solar panels, and 3 KW BIPV solar panels)
- Sound zones – classified as quiet, mixed, and regular/loud
- Quiet Zones: Areas demarcated for focused work, wellness, rest, study, and/or privacy, maintained below 30 decibels (dB).
- Mixed Zones: Areas demarcated for learning, collaboration, and/or presentation, maintained below 40 dB.
- Thermal Zones: Different temperature levels for employees based on their preferences.
- Air Quality levels are displayed prominently on Energy Dashboards placed at strategic points to alert the facilities management team of any sudden variations.
- Healthy Food options (menus with calorific and nutritional values) are displayed to promote healthy eating habits. Information about allergens (if any), ingredients used, their nutritional value, sugar and sodium content, etc. in each meal item is displayed prominently on a large screen.
- Ergonomic Furniture including Standing Desks, Height Adjustable Monitors, and chairs complying with HFES 100-2007 guidelines are provided to all employees. The kitchen staff is provided anti-fatigue mats to relieve them from the drudgery.
- Somfy Sun Tracking Blind Control System (the blinds adjust automatically based on the sun’s movement) to ensure optimum daylight, control the glare, and for improved thermal comfort.
- The Office is surrounded by greenery (trees), and the interiors are dotted with indoor shrubs like Areca palm, Raphis Palm, and Schefllera Venulosa to add a breath of natural fresh air indoors.
- The employees are provided with self-monitoring tools to monitor their health and daily activities. Incentives are provided to encourage employees to use such tools.
- Ample space has been set aside for physical activity, including a fully-equipped gym, volleyball, and badminton courts.
- Transportation Support An electric scooter is available for any employee to cover short distances on official work. Power points for charging electric vehicles are provided at vantage points in the parking area to promote the use of non-polluting vehicles. Visitors and guests driving/riding electric vehicles are welcome to use the free charging ports for electric vehicles to charge their batteries if required.
- Employees are encouraged to participate in gardening activities and join yoga sessions while on duty to help keep their minds and body healthy.
Whether at work or play, the best place to be is the eFACiLiTY® Building at Coimbatore. It is rated the World’s 2nd Highest Ranking Green Building under the U.S. Green Building Council LEED rating system NC v2009, and India’s Highest Ranking Green Building under the India Green Building Council (IGBC) Green New Buildings rating system.
SIERRA ODC Private Limited
+91-422 711 5566
“eFACiLiTY”, #6 (SF. 218/2A), Annamalai Industrial Estate, Kalapatti, Coimbatore – 641 048, INDIA