Smart Buildings are Resilient Buildings

Stop what you are doing and look around.
The working environment you find yourself in is most likely hindering your productivity rather than enhancing it. It is still kind of a drag to pull yourself out of bed and make the commute to work. You like your work, but something isn’t quite right.
Your building isn’t up to the task and your productivity is being affected.
Job satisfaction has many drivers. Some people like to feel like they have a ‘work perk’ every now and then to stay motivated. Others like to get that bonus for the extra hours the CEO noticed them put in. For many though, it is just about feeling ‘good’ at work.
You’ve walked into one of those buildings where you’ve immediately felt like you could conquer the world from that hot desk over there, right? You’ve strolled into a lobby and breathed in fresher air than was outside too, yes? This is what it feels like inside a smart and resilient building.
Resilience is a word used to describe the ability of something to adapt to its surroundings and not only survive but thrive while doing so. In a world where weather is increasingly unpredictable (with the only predictable thing being that it will become more and more unpredictable…) and cities expected to become more and more congested, resilience in the built environment will only become a more common theme.
More and more companies are choosing flexible working arrangements for their teams, so the built environment that has historically been dominated by static and rigid office structures is changing too. The companies that embrace resilience in their real estate assets will find themselves sitting on a portfolio that is fit for the future and growing in value.
Those buildings we referred to earlier, where you feel better, healthier and more productive as soon as you walk inside? Those are resilient buildings. They have the systems in place to adapt to the needs of the users as well as the ups and downs of the indoor and external climates. These are smart buildings that leverage the streams of data flowing through them in real time to understand what is hot (and shouldn’t be) and what is not (and probably could be a little warmer). These buildings are ready for disruptions to power and water services because they already harvest energy and water and use both resources efficiently as a standard operating procedure. They also manage space and use of services in a way that makes people feel like they are more in control of their work day.
A particularly relevant example of a resilient building is the latest Unilever campus on the east coast of the US. Nuuka is a technology partner to OVG Real Estate on this redevelopment and expansion of Unilever’s 325,000 square foot North American headquarters at 700 Sylvan Avenue in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. The campus is 23 acres of resilient building, a sustainable and smart redevelopment that is already being hailed as one of the most intelligent, energy-efficient and advanced corporate facilities on the East Coast of the US.  At this corporate HQ, we are providing real-time analytics of more than 10 000 data points for energy, sustainability, indoor air quality and HVAC process performance that is used by both Unilever personnel and the facility management team.
This building is an example of what the resilient and adaptable building of the future can look like, and it is truly an inspiring sight. The level of energy efficiency ensures that it is not vulnerable to the shocks of grid outages and volatility in power prices, while its understanding and leveraging of big data in the building means that the building users can make informed decisions about how they interact with it. Ultimately, the people inside this campus feel good about being at work and are more productive as a result.
This is what you call a win, win, win.
Adaptability is a good trait in an uncertain world. As individuals we know that those who are able to prepare and react to unexpected events are those who survive and thrive. The same goes for the built environment – the buildings that are resilient to the shocks the world will throw at them are the ones that will be most valuable in the real estate sector.
This article is written by Nuuka Solutions.

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