Smart Sustainable Offices

Smart Sustainable Offices

Embracing innovation in office design

The smart and sustainable office (SSO) concept outperforms conventional offices by embracing sustainability in all its forms: economic, environmental and social. A strong focus on occupants, combined with increased usage of innovative technologies and systems in buildings, leads to more sustainable buildings along with happier occupants.

SSO’s many benefits include:

·      A working environment that positively affects users’ health and wellbeing

·      Productivity improvements through the creation of a positive organizational climate and working conditions

·      Promotion of “green” attitudes and values

·      More efficient use of resources

·      Energy savings and lower greenhouse gas emissions

Offices designed to reflect real-life conditions that can be easily adapted when needs change

““With the SSO technology we see great potential in understanding human needs and behaviour on a new level when designing future office environments.” ”
Janica Wiklander, head of Tengbom architects in Gothenburg

Making offices a better place to work


Many studies indicate that smart and sustainable offices may positively affect health. These studies also show that improving conditions at work may result in productivity gains, which are linked to economic benefits for organizations in terms of less sick leave, higher engagement, greater job satisfaction and lower staff turnover.


SSO has enabled the development of a sustainable office assessment methodology that supports both the planning and decision-making process during the design of new offices or renovation of existing ones.


The SSO model takes a holistic view of the office. Input and feedback from employees is collected through a multi-method-approach. The accumulated data is aggregated, analysed and compiled in a report showing the benefits that can be obtained from selecting the appropriate office design.


SSO products:

·      Office insights and diagnosis (monitoring user demands to create more appropriate office environments with resilient space solutions)

·      Office improvement strategy (methodology to design a more comfortable office)

·      Office improvement execution (innovative and sustainable building systems/technologies combined with improved indoor environmental quality and good interior design)

·      Sustainable office guidelines for different climate zones in Europe

·      Office building certification (starting in Spain in 2017): accessibility, indoor environmental comfort, design, biophilia and space quality, environmental efficiency

Online office planning tool (starting in Spain in 2016): products, materials and constructive systems including prices, technical characteristics and visual information

““World Office Forum (WOF) finds the SSO approach to sustainability in offices fully in line with users’ needs. […] WOF will fully support SSO in terms of dissemination, knowledge and best practices for office users and owners.” ”
Jorge Zanoletty Larrea, President of World Office Forum

Dismantling barriers to energy efficiency

SSO seeks to overcome existing barriers that prevent energy-efficient and low-carbon buildings from becoming mainstream. In order for SSO to be more widely adopted, the following conditions must be in place:

·      Right technology and services at the right place

·      A design approach that is more focused on users and their demands

·      Economic life cycle approach

·      Rigorous maintenance plans


Applying the SSO concept, a refurbishment is assumed to result in 50% higher energy savings compared to ordinary renovations due to a greater share of extensive and nearly zero building renovations (nZEB), along with improved user behaviour.

Published 9 March 2018

About BTA

Building Technologies Accelerator (BTA) is a programme by EIT Climate-KIC: the EU’s largest public private partnership addressing climate change through innovation to build a zero carbon economy.