Presented By: Partner Insights
Speaker Spotlight: Rao Mulpuri, CEO of View, Inc.
Rao Mulpuri will be speaking at Commercial Observer's Power Gala 2022
View is the leader in smart building technologies that deliver superior human experiences in buildings. Our products transform buildings into responsive environments that continuously adjust to meet human needs for natural light, connection to nature, and comfortable temperatures, while improving energy efficiency and increasing profits for building owners and their tenants.
Real estate is a major participant in global ESG and sustainability goals. There is an urgency to support climate action. What changes can be made today to help companies hit their ESG goals?
Slowing and eventually halting the effects of climate change is one of the most urgent challenges of our time. Because real estate is responsible for a greater proportion of greenhouse gas emissions than any other sector, our industry will not only need to be part of the solution but lead the charge. The good news is that the technology needed to address the challenge is largely available today. The question is how to drive mass adoption of those technologies across new and existing buildings—and fast. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, signed into law by President Biden in August, is an important step. The bill includes numerous provisions designed to accelerate the deployment of energy-saving clean technologies. For example, the bill includes a 30-50% tax credit for energy-saving smart windows, which puts them at cost parity with regular glass and will both accelerate adoption and drive economies of scale. It’s imperative for real estate owners and operators to learn about these new incentives and take advantage of them.
Energy efficiency isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for the bottom line. What financial benefits result from more energy efficient building models?
Investments in energy efficiency are accretive because they deliver benefits that compound over time. Beyond reducing monthly energy costs, improving energy efficiency in buildings can also reduce upfront materials costs, reduce the risk of incurring penalties for violating laws like Local Law 97, and even help to attract higher quality tenants. For example, companies that deploy smart windows—just one clean technology—reduce energy consumption from lighting and HVAC by as much as 20%; reduce materials consumption by forgoing blinds and downsizing HVAC systems; and increase usable floor space by 10% or more by recapturing the building perimeter. The windows also create a distinctive experience for occupants, helping to attract and retain higher quality tenants over the life of the building. Beyond near- and medium-term benefits, broad investments in energy efficiency are critical to preventing what could become staggering costs associated with catastrophic climate change.
What are top priorities for tenants today when selecting a space?
The answer depends on the type of real estate in question, of course. In a multifamily setting, tenants are increasingly looking for tech-forward spaces that allow for socializing and remote work. They want access to outdoor views, common areas, and greenspace, among other amenities. In an office setting, tenants are looking for spaces that support their future work strategy. We know that hybrid work is here to stay and that companies will need to provide flexible spaces that promote in-person collaboration and entice employees to come back to the office. Employees continue to rank access to natural light and outdoor views as their most preferred amenity. Corporate tenants are looking for spaces that meet all these needs—from modular, open floor plans to collaborative space with ample natural light. Finally, there’s life science, where tenants are looking for spaces that provide ideal conditions for scientific research. They want spaces that help keep scientists healthy and alert, while protecting sensitive equipment, materials, and IP. Smart windows are particularly valuable in this setting because they provide access to natural light and views, block harmful UV rays, and eliminate the need for blinds which require frequent maintenance and cleaning to avoid microbial contamination.
How do real estate owners need to view their spaces to ensure they’re more people-centric? How can owners and tenants modify their spaces to enhance workplace environments?
Creating a truly people-centric environment starts with understanding what people need to perform at their best. At View, we take a science-first approach rooted in understanding human biochemistry, physiology, and psychology. We work with top research institutions around the world to measure how changes in the built environment enhance or harm physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Our research collaborators have measured hormone levels in multifamily residents, chemical concentrations in dust, bacterial abundance in healthcare facilities, and much more to understand the complex relationship between the environments where we spend 90% of our time and our health. We’ve found that things as simple as continuous access to natural light and outdoor views throughout the day measurably reduce headaches and eyestrain, reduce depression and anxiety, and even help people sleep better and longer.
How is View innovating to further improve the occupant experience?
Over time, we’ve extended our inquiry into smart buildings, exploring the many ways that technology can be applied to optimize energy consumption, reduce friction in the workplace, and create new experiences for occupants. We’ve launched a number of new products, including View Immersive Display, which transforms smart windows into digital interactive surfaces that can be used for entertainment (in place of a TV), collaboration (in place of a display for Zoom or a white board for drawing), or individual work (in place of a computer screen). More recently, we also launched a cloud-based platform to help real estate owners more rapidly digitize their new and existing buildings. Our goal with the Smart Building Cloud is to make it easier for real estate owners and operators to harness opportunities to optimize not only natural light and energy efficiency, but also air quality, space utilization, and even building maintenance and repairs across their entire portfolio.