Being able to view and react to this data from a mobile phone is proving revolutionary for landlords, engineers, and property teams. It not only makes tenants’ lives easier, but substantially reduces operating expenses. I categorize this a design feature because it must be factored into the architectural design of a space, whether it’s in a new build, redevelopment, or part of a multi-year capital improvement plan.
A second, and equally important design feature is the intentional connection between indoor and outdoor space. Augmented and extended-reality technologies may help to alleviate this need somewhat, but I believe the desire for connection with the natural world will always be there – through floor to ceiling windows, terraces, indoor gardens and waterfalls.
Biophilic design provides the additional benefit of making us less reliant on energy to create the ambience we want. If a tenant can open a terrace door to enjoy natural cooldowns instead of running the HVAC, or utilize natural light, we all benefit.
I know these aren’t new ideas, but we need to continue to be inventive and creative, and most importantly, thoughtful when we look at a space and determine what its users will need most. Sometimes that will involve high-end tech and screens, and sometimes it involves more flexibility. Sometimes it involves making the indoors feel like the great outdoors, the boardroom room feel like a collaboration room, and the workday feel like the best day.