Fundamental Shift #5: Technology & Power
In the last week of our series on “Five Fundamental Shifts for Healthy Buildings,” we delve into the major technology and power shift in building management. Today, buildings are being scrutinized like never before. People now use mobile sensors and online platforms to voice their opinions and share data about indoor air quality (IAQ). This democratization of information represents a massive shift in power from building owners to tenants and the public.
The Rise of Accessible IAQ Data
Gone are the days when costly equipment and highly trained technicians were the only way to know how clean the indoor air is. Now, anyone can use low-cost sensors to measure the air quality inside buildings to challenge decision makers with the data they themselves collect. This empowers employees and consumers to advocate for themselves with advances in their buildings.
The Union of Building Goals
New technology offers us a way to have green, healthy, smart, and safe buildings. This unified movement improves a building’s health and climate impact, which avoids an either-or proposition. We can now monitor, measure, and manage various factors all at the same time to create a holistic value proposition without major trade-offs.
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Case Studies: Leading the New Standard
JP Morgan Chase & Co.’s NYC Headquarters exemplifies this shift. It’s not only a green building but also a healthy one. Features include NYC’s largest electric tower, net-zero energy consumption, and enhanced air filtration systems. This building doubles the amount of fresh air using real-time monitoring and healthier materials.
Other notable examples include the San Francisco International Airport, Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, and the Living Lab of Armstrong World Industries in Lancaster, PA. These buildings embody the synergy of health, sustainability, and technological innovation.
Transparency and Advanced Data Analytics
There’s a growing need for transparency in building materials and operations. Initiatives like the Living Building Challenge’s Red List and Harvard’s healthy materials projects demonstrate this trend. With advanced data analytics integrated into building management systems, buildings can now respond automatically to real-time environmental changes.
Impact on Education and Public Health
The impacts of this shift are profound, particularly in schools. Enhanced building spaces lead to better performance in reading comprehension and math tests, reduced absenteeism, and fewer asthma attacks. This is not just a theoretical model; data over time has consistently shown these benefits.
Conclusion: The Untapped Potential of Healthy Buildings
As we conclude our series, it’s clear that healthy buildings present a unique chance for public health, business, and career development. This is not a passing trend; it’s a fundamental shift in how we perceive and interact with our built environment. By embracing these changes, we can unlock one of the most significant public health tools at our disposal that will allow us to adapt to and mitigate climate change.
Join us at BuildingLens as we embrace and lead this new era of building management, where health, sustainability, and smart technology converge to create spaces that are not only efficient but also nurturing and safe.