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Sustainability Increases Value in Commercial Real Estate

By Sarah Baker on Mar 19, 2019 6:03:00 AM

 

Although we hear the word sustainability a lot these days, for many business owners, sustainability is still just a buzzword. As a building owner or manager, maybe you'd like to make improvements toward sustainability, but green building features are still on the "nice to have" list, maybe shuffled behind mechanical and cosmetic upgrades.

But investors don't see it that way anymore – and the numbers show it. 

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How Can Class A Buildings Get Smarter?

By Sarah Baker on Nov 29, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Your office is brand spankin’ new. It’s got all the bells and whistles. Maybe a robot delivers coffee to your desk every morning – or maybe you just landed a great location and a great architect. You’re proud to have a Class A building. But is there anywhere else to go from here?

As we say in Minnesota, you betcha. Your office may be modern – but is it smart? Are your employees comfortable? And, is it saving you money? 

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How Can Class C Buildings Get Smarter?

By Sarah Baker on Nov 29, 2018 10:06:23 AM

So maybe your office building isn’t the greatest. It’s been around for at least 20 years, and it’s starting to show its age. There’s a perpetually-leaky ceiling tile. The pipes make a rattling noise (or, is it something living in the pipes?). Your employees come into work huddled under blankets until the afternoon, when they switch to portable fans.

If this is the case, you probably have a Class C building. If you’re preoccupied with the day-to-day building maintenance and repairs of an aging building, a smart building upgrade may sound like overkill. But Class C buildings actually have the most to gain by becoming smart.

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5 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Your Building

By Sarah Baker on Nov 29, 2018 9:07:40 AM

On some days, your employees are coughing and sneezing. On others, they appear to be sluggish and sleepy, experiencing what many have deemed the "2:30 feeling" since the airing of 5-Hour Energy's advertising campaign.

So what can you do about it?

Although a company curfew and extra caffeinated coffee could be the solution for a few, it may not solve the overarching issue. Why? Because many offices suffer from "sick building symptoms," including bad indoor air quality (IAQ). In fact indoor air quality is likely to be 2-5 times worse than outdoor air quality. Given that most of us spend 90% of our time indoors, improving your building’s indoor air quality can significantly affect employee and customer health, comfort and productivity, sometimes increasing cognitive ability by 101%!

So what can you do to improve the indoor air quality in your building?

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4 Smart Building Incentives to Help You Save Money

By Sarah Baker on Oct 18, 2018 8:05:00 AM

Traditional building automation systems have been both costly and complex for the majority of commercial building owners and property managers, accounting for the fact that less than 15% of buildings have a BAS.  Misconceptions about cost often prevent the adoption of smart and sustainable buildings. 

When budgeting for a building automation system, it's important to consider both the capital expense (CapEx) or Total Cost of Acquisition (TCA) -  the initial cost for hardware, software and installation/services - as well as the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), which is the ongoing cost to use, upgrade and operate and maintain (O+M) the system.

Newer technologies, like IoT sensors, wireless controls, and cloud computing, are helping lower the cost of building automation systems and making them more affordable and accessible to the majority of buildings that lack smart technology. Still, we know the allocating the upfront capital budget can be a challenge. Luckily, there are a variety of incentive programs on both federal and state levels, plus those from utilities and energy program partners, to make it easier on your wallet to go green.

In this post, we focus on TCA and related incentives that you might be able to leverage to lower your costs to install a smart building automation system. Here, we give you the low-down.

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How Can Class B Buildings Get Smarter?

By Sarah Baker on Oct 17, 2018 7:52:14 AM

Could your office building be described as… average? Maybe it doesn’t have a fountain in the lobby, or a view of the ocean – but you have four solid walls, a non-leaking roof, and only a few drafty cubicles. Have you ever tried to make your building work with an HVAC hack? Maybe you even taped a piece of cardboard over the vent to manage the airflow. That would be pretty clever of you, MacGyver.

So, if your office building is around 10-20 years old, has some wear and tear, but is generally in good shape, you probably have a Class B building. This is good news. Investors tend to target these buildings since, with a few upgrades, they can easily become Class B+ and compete readily with Class A properties. One of those upgrades is making your Class B smart – and it’s probably easier than you think.

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