Many modern properties today under property management control are what we call ‘intelligent buildings’. The inference is that they have a degree of ‘intelligent function’ that is automated by a Building Automation System (BAS).
You will see this level of building function and control in both office and retail buildings. Certainly those buildings with multiple tenant occupancy are well placed to use the BAS technology that we have available today. Newly constructed buildings will usually do that and incorporate the BAS design strategies into the installation of plant and equipment.
‘But what about the older buildings’, you may say. As some older buildings recede into redundancy and need renovation or refurbishment, the opportunity will exist for those buildings to also be improved with some form of Building Automation System. The level of automation potential will depend on the levels of upgrade that apply to the central plant and equipment, such as:
- Mechanical plant (air conditioning)
- Lifts and Escalators
- Power supply and emergency supply
- Electrical services and supply
- Hydraulics (water supply, control, stormwater, and drainage)
- Fire detection and prevention
- Security systems and protection
- Communication systems and infrastructure
Tenants today expect occupancy efficiency, lower outgoings, and convenience of use; they expect buildings that are ‘energy efficient’ and ‘environmentally efficient’. As leasing agents we should be well aware of these ‘factors of attraction’ in marketing and leasing any vacant premises in larger office or retail buildings.
Older buildings are costly to run and offer little flexibility in function; that then has a direct impact on higher outgoings and rents. Inefficient buildings are harder to lease. There will come a time where inefficient buildings are beyond any reasonable chances of leasing in a competitive market.
So it is clear that an ‘intelligent building’ offers advantages from a leasing point of view. You can usually show advantages to a tenant such as:
- Well managed energy costs using off peak tariffs and time optimised plant and machinery operations
- Accurate building budgeting of operational costs
- Efficient air conditioning services utilizing seasonal changes and outside air supplies to create a healthier workplace for tenants
- Security flexibility and access controls for staff and business protection
- World class communications infrastructure that allows reliable business communications
- Well controlled outgoings offering economies of scale and reduced rental charges
If you are to lease one of these modern buildings, there are plenty of advantages to merge into your leasing brochure and tenant attraction strategy. Build a story of lease efficiency, economy, and convenience into your marketing materials. The property manager for the property should be able to tell you all about the functional and cost advantages of the ‘intelligent building’ that they manage.