The Beautiful Impact of Biophilic Design

September 18, 2018 Leave a comment

As we move towards a future of driverless cars, shrinking parking lots, and smart, connected buildings, there’s another quiet trend taking root: biophilic city planning and building design.

Biophilic design is bringing nature back into urban areas, balancing all that concrete and steel with more living plants, water, sunlight, and natural materials. It’s a way planners and architects are making public and private spaces a little bit wilder, greener, and healthier for the people who use them. Today, the trend is getting a high-profile boost from major tech companies who’ve incorporated it into their office designs, from Microsoft’s treehouses to Apple’s orchards.

If you’ve noticed green roofs, waterfall features, living plant walls and green courtyards springing up in your area, those are all examples of biophilic design in action! Some stunning examples of biophilic design taking root across cities, offices, and residential buildings around the world include:

  • World’s tallest vertical garden in Sydney. Sydney’sOne Central Park residential towers boast a gorgeous green facade that rises more than 500 feet into the sky and is punctuated by lush terraced gardens. Its two urban towers incorporate 250 species of plants and flowers native to Australia and create a lush, nature-inspired landscape for its many occupants.
  • Amazon’s cloud forest “Spheres” in Seattle. Here’s a breathtaking example of how beautiful biophilic office design can be. Just this year, Amazon opened its $4-billion Spheresworkspace, a set of futuristic glass orbs that house over 40,000 plants and feel “more like a tropical rainforest in the clouds than an office,” says the company.
  • A rainforest-like hospital in Singapore. TheKhoo Teck Puat Hospital in Singapore is a celebration of biophilic building design, bringing the lush flora and fauna of the rainforest to a hospital setting. Its verdant courtyards, roofs, terraced gardens, and sky bridges are home to several species of butterflies, birds, fish, and fragrant plants.
  • Etsy’s Living Building Challenge-inspired Brooklyn headquarters. With its new headquarters in Brooklyn, Etsy took up the challenge of meeting the International Living Future Institute’sLive Building Challenge, which not only embraces green principles like water and energy efficiency, but encourages biophilic design elements that promote physical and psychological health. Etsy’s verdant rooftop terraces, nontoxic and local building materials, zero-waste initiatives, and tranquil work and wellness areas are all ways they’re rising to the challenge.
  • “Pocket parks” integrated into tight city spaces. Midtown Manhattan’sPaley Park is a testament to how powerful nature can be, even in tiny doses. Despite its tight quarters, the little park has carved out an oasis of calm in a busy city. Parks like these don’t have to be a destination in themselves to be appealing—even simple elements like a small canopy of green or a waterfall feature are all it takes to make even the busiest city seem more serene.

All this green popping up in urban spaces should be good news for people and businesses alike. There’s research to suggest that green office design can boost productivity as well as well-being, and that natural elements and sunlight boost job satisfaction while also decreasing depression and anxiety. One study even suggests that people in nature-inspired environments are 6% more productive and 15% more creative.

What’s perhaps more interesting is just how much people seem to crave and appreciate these environments. The study above discovered that design is so important to people that 33% of the 7,600 office workers surveyed said they’d use it to decide whether or not to work somewhere!

That’s significant, considering that 47% of people participating in the study said they had no natural light at work, and 58% had no plant life. Clearly, there is an opportunity here for businesses to embrace biophilic design principles—and luckily, some very high-profile companies are already setting an example for others to follow. This is definitely a trend to watch in the coming years!

This article originally appeared on the Apto website.

About The Sundance Company                                                      
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

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How Billions of Online Objects are Making the Web Wiser

September 11, 2018 Leave a comment

About The Sundance Company                                                      
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

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How to Get Millenials Excited About Your Brand

About The Sundance Company                                                      
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

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Tech Upgrades for the Office

Skip the paint job: make over your office space with smart technology. The latest tools add security, energy efficiency and comfort to any workplace. Impress your employees and your clients with these upgrades.

#1. SMART THERMOSTATS

Stop covering the thermostat with locking plastic covers. Smart thermostats automate temperature controls based on occupancy. Some connect through Wi-Fi for remote adjustments or viewing energy efficiency reports. Smart thermostat Nest adjusts temperatures for specific times of day and seasons. One version learns the office routine and adjusts accordingly. The ecobee3 uses smart remote sensors to monitor other rooms. It eliminates one room being the right temperature while others swelter or shiver away. Honeywell’s Prestige Thermostat operates commercial systems remotely and integrates with other sensors.

#2. SMART LOCKS

Smart doors digitally control room or building access. The locking systems range from keypads to a virtual system using a smartphone to gain entry. Some systems, like August Lock, don’t change the door’s appearance. Users assign virtual “keys” to workers, control the lock over the internet, or use a code. RemoteLock uses the cloud to control multiple business locations. Its system locks access remotely and controls various door types.

#3. LIGHTING CONTROL

Don’t you hate when someone leaves the lights on in an empty room? What a waste of energy! Occupancy sensors detect when a space is in use and automates lights accordingly. Some systems adjust light intensity based on available natural light for maximum comfort level.  Philips Lighting personalizes office lighting systems adjustable to employee needs.

#4. CONNECTED WHITEBOARD

Go for the “wow” factor with a connected whiteboard. Paired with cloud, this hardware whiteboard assists with collaboration. Install in conference rooms for use in meetings or for brainstorming sessions. SMART kapp is a share-as-you-go whiteboard syncs with phone, tablet, PC. Share or save session notes as PDF or JPEGs. Other smart whiteboards available for commercial office space: Google Jamboard, Cisco Webex Board, and Microsoft Surface Hub.

#5. DYNAMIC GLASS

Are you willing to spend a little more on that retrofit? Check out ViewGlass’ dynamic glass. Turn your phone into a remote control to adjust the window tinting depending on time of day, sun angle, or brightness. Dynamic glass is a great energy-saving resource that comes in different tint levels. The LC Privacy Glass product from eGlass can turns opaque to create privacy barriers and can be voice-controlled.

#6. VIDEO DOORBELL

Add another layer of security with a video doorbell. Provide remote access through a phone app. Some video doorbells include motion sensor and video recording to see who came knocking when you were out of the office. Check out Ring, SkyBell HD, or the August Doorbell Cam Pro. Different available features include HD video, storage, cloud storage, and phone syncing.

This article originally appeared on the CRETECH website.

About The Sundance Company                                                      
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

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About The Sundance Company                                                      
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

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How to Slash Wasted Energy Spend with Technology

What if we told you commercial buildings consume one-fifth of the total US energy consumption? That’s what the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) claims. Commercial real estate represents 20 percent of the United States’ total energy consumption. Effective energy management of commercial buildings isn’t just a way to reduce greenhouse emissions. Technology retrofits and building monitoring systems cut energy use by as much as 30 percent. Key technologies for reducing wasted energy use include:

#1. OCCUPANCY SENSING

These beacons and sensors range in size and scope, but effectively monitor high energy use items like lighting, cooling, and humidity. The latest in occupancy sensors automatically adjust empty and occupied spaces based on the seasons, time of day, and upcoming scheduled activities. Some sensors tied into a building management system will start to cool down a conference room for a morning meeting overnight when it costs less to run HVAC.

#2. MEASURING ENERGY OUTPUT

Kontrol Energy uses the Internet of Things (IoT) to track each device’s energy output so every stakeholder can track their energy consumption. Building and asset managers can see down to the specific room to target building areas with a higher energy bill than others. This critical data helps facility managers understand how their buildings and businesses consume energy. Without it, managers can’t target areas to reduce use and costs.

Software models a building’s energy consumption. Energy Plus and Open Studio have options to experiment with energy consumption models and building loads. The software is excellent during the initial design or retrofit stage to experiment with what upgrades will increase energy efficiency.

#3. AUTOMATED MONITORING HARDWARE

Heating and cooling accounts for 25 percent of a building’s total energy use, says the EIA.

The challenge in commercial buildings is to provide the right amount of comfort depending on use, day, and occupants. IoT devices track building use and some automatically adjust based on patterns. These same devices monitor systems, like a HVAC unit, for efficiency. The hardware highlights changes in efficiency that might indicate a problem. After, all a well-run unit uses less energy than a broken one. Immediate action can get a system back running faster, saving time and money.

#4. DEMAND RESPONSE PROGRAM

Businesses can give back to the power grid with a demand response program and earn income at the same time. How? Utility companies will pay participating companies for “powering down” during times the grid experiences strain. Businesses will need backup power sources, like generators, but the cost of running these could be less than what the power companies payout. Program rules vary by region.

#5. WINDOWS

New advances to windows make the latest models more energy-efficient, but who would have thought windows were smart? The latest innovations include dynamic glass, where occupants remotely control the window tinting. The extra shade cools interior spaces on summer days or the extra light warms the room during chilly winter days.

Building and facilities managers, weigh the benefits of installing energy-saving technology in your commercial spaces. The technology could increase revenue by reducing operating expenses like energy costs while attracting prime tenants.

This article originally appeared on the CRETECH website.

About The Sundance Company                                                      
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

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About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

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