As you peruse through an overwhelming number of office real estate listings in an attempt to find the perfect space for your company, you can narrow down your search by focusing on a smart building. In recent years, we’ve often heard of the smart house concept, which utilizes home automation to create a seamless, energy efficient environment. This popular trend has since made its way into the commercial office arena, allowing smart buildings to offer advanced functionality in terms of the mechanical, electronic, and lighting aspects of the building. A building automation system (BAS) manages and monitors this network of devices, helping to reduce both energy and maintenance costs.
Now that you have a general idea of what a smart building is, why should you consider moving your company into one? While there are a number of benefits, outlined below are 5 key reasons to lease office space in a smart building:
- Lower utility bills. Considering that many office leases are structured so that the landlord passes off utility expenses to the tenant, a company that occupies space in a smart building will likely benefit from lower utility bills. For example, Computerworld shares that an IT-driven building occupied by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission uses 32 percent less energy than a typical conventional building.
- More comfortable working environment. To increase efficiency and conserve energy, many smart buildings utilize a floor heating and cooling system versus the traditional HVAC that blows air through ductwork located above the office. This allows for better temperature control and helps to prevent the amount of wasted hot or cold air. Also, if an employee comes into the office to work on a weekend, he can just heat or cool his own office.
- Proactive maintenance. Since a building automation system (BAS) controls nearly every aspect of a smart building’s operations, the landlord is alerted of any potential for a system malfunction and can proactively take care of the issue before burdening the tenants.
- Wi-Fi enabled. Since the building’s operational systems run on a Wi-Fi network, tenants can benefit from having access to secure, high-quality Wi-Fi throughout the building, helping to increase both mobility and productivity. Mobile phones, tablets, laptops, computers, and other smart devices that work on Wi-Fi should be able to smoothly connect to this backbone network.
- Intuitive design. By utilizing advanced sensor technology to control the building’s lighting, the tenant’s space can be more efficiently managed by not lighting rooms and offices that are not being used. Strategically placing sensors above the entrance to conference rooms or office doors can significantly help to reduce energy waste.
- Increased productivity. Another very important component of smart buildings is that tenants get sick less often because of the energy efficiencies. This can result in productivity increases of between 20% and 30%.
Since smart buildings are still somewhat of a new trend, it can be difficult to find lease opportunities in them. It’s important to note that a building does not have to be new construction to offer this advanced integrated technology. In fact, many building owners are seeing the benefits of these IT-driven designs and are updating the building’s management and control systems to optimize how the building is run so that it becomes more energy efficient.
The Baltimore-Annapolis corridor is seeing an increase in office lease opportunities in smart buildings. To learn more about smart buildings and office real estate listings in our area, please contact our experienced team of professionals at Douglas Commercial. Our knowledge of the market coupled with our sophisticated analysis and negotiating skills allows us to deliver superior results for our clients.