What are the best mechanical system and technology changes for commercial real estate owners and operators to invest in during the pandemic?
Look at lightweight solutions that are quick to implement and are cost effective, suggested Mo Fahim and Julie Lardenoit during “ESD On Impact Of COVID-19 On Workplace And The Built Environment,” part of the CoreNet Global What’s Next podcast series.
“Do not completely rechange facilities before extended evaluation of the purpose and the use of these changes,” Fahim said. “You’re most likely going to have to revise these again (after the pandemic).”
From an MEP perspective, Lardenoit said changes to indoor air quality are crucial.
“Make small tweaks and bring in more outdoor air,” she said. “The employee is going to want to know what’s in the air he or she is breathing.”
Because of the pandemic, smart building technologies will be more important in the future, Fahim said.
“Since the well-being of the occupant and the visitor has been brought to the forefront, this will help make the business case for a lot of smart building technologies,” he said. “Contactless interactions, visitor credentialing – if a building doesn’t have these in the future, it will be obsolete from a tech standpoint.”
Regarding what changes might become permanent, Lardenoit doubted that temperature sensing will continue to be meaningful once the pandemic dwindles. Fahim noted that COVID-19 will fast track digitization in the built environment.
“It will evolve into the autonomous workplace,” he said. “Space-room reservations, measuring people density will take a stronger position in the workplace.”