By Michael Alexander, Associate Vice President
From self-driving cars to Fitbits, the world around us is getting smarter and healthier, and commercial buildings are an integral part of this trend. Cushman & Wakefield’s Sustainability Services team can help you embrace the latest trends in technology and wellness.
What does it mean for a building to be smart? According to the World Resources Institute, “It is not enough for a building to simply contain the systems that provide comfort, light, and safety. Buildings of the future must connect the various pieces in an integrated, dynamic, and functional way.” Smart buildings deliver many benefits, including energy cost savings, better tenant comfort, and enhanced marketability.
While innovators are designing futuristic new gadgets every day, certain smart building technologies are already proven and here to stay. These technologies include sensors that adjust building operations in response to real-time conditions, advanced energy monitoring that has helped Cushman & Wakefield achieve a 10% reduction in energy consumption across our portfolio, and remote collaboration tools that enable companies to lease less space by allowing employees to work from just about anywhere.
While some smart technologies are already in widespread use, others are just beginning to realize their potential. Adam Stanley, Cushman & Wakefield Global Chief Information Officer, recently named virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR) as the “next wave of commercial real estate technology.” In addition, new apps are allowing tenants to adjust building HVAC systems and implement machine learning, which, over time, finds the optimal settings to keep everyone comfortable and reduce HVAC usage in the process.
At the same time buildings are getting brainier, they are also getting better for your body. The new WELL Building Standard is a science-based system for creating healthy commercial buildings. Like the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system for environmental sustainability, WELL offers certification for commercial buildings and interiors. It focuses on seven elements of health that are affected by the indoor environment: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.
Many of WELL’s requirements are already standard for good-quality buildings in the U.S., and there is an approximately 30% overlap with LEED requirements, which means that many buildings are already well-positioned to achieve certification.
Synergies between the smart and healthy mean that a little investment can go a long way. The Cushman & Wakefield Sustainability Services team is available to help with a wide variety of building upgrade projects, including the Advanced Building Optimization Service, WELL certification, wellness program planning and implementation, and exploring automation tools such as Comfy, as well as recognition programs such as LEED and ENERGY STAR® certification.
Interested in learning more about smart and healthy buildings? Read the full article here.
Michael is responsible for developing, managing and overseeing sustainability projects for Cushman & Wakefield. He works closely with clients and property teams to oversee LEED©, ENERGY STAR©, sustainability, and energy efficiency projects throughout our managed portfolio, as well as third party consulting.