How can smart building technology enhance the E and S in ESG?

September 29, 2021

3 minute read

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This post was created in partnership with Metrikus, our smart building technology partner.

Here's a simple fact: For commercial landlords, smart building technology is the key to achieving ESG goals. With the right sensors and software in place, monitoring and improving the health and quality of your building environment is easy. So too is increasing the social benefits of your workplace. Let's unpack each in turn.

Smart Building Technology and Environment

Energy consumption and emissions can not only be measured in real time, but cross-checked with other data for greater insights on optimization. For example, ventilation and heating can be adjusted in response to real-time occupancy levels, or presence detectors can be used for smart lighting.

Comprehensive indoor air quality monitoring can also spot issues like:

  • Incorrectly configured HVACs
  • Faulty BMS sensors that are causing excessive energy consumption
  • BMS that have not been fine tuned in a while despite actual changes to the physical space e.g. repartitioning of an office

Real-time occupancy monitoring and flexible work practices can also have a substantial environmental impact by reducing energy and water consumption and limiting the pollution from daily commutes. Solutions like smart cleaning can also contribute to a reduction in the use of polluting cleaning products, as well as improving user experience.

Traditional environmental regulations have prioritized design and compliance over operation and effectiveness. This has led to suboptimal results and, as a result, regulatory emphasis is quickly changing towards a more practical, results-oriented approach.

Although current emphasis is shifting towards modeling and simulations, it seems inevitable that regulators will end up demanding operational efficiency. Healthy buildings anticipate this trend by putting the emphasis on rich, real-time IoT data. Machine learning and advanced analytics can also be deployed to gain ever greater environmental efficiencies.

Smart Building Technology and Social

Occupancy and indoor air quality monitoring can also have a significant impact when it comes to the "S" in ESG.

Monitoring key indoor air quality parameters in real time can have a profound impact on the health, wellbeing, and productivity of employees, customers and residents alike.

And the aforementioned benefits of real-time occupancy monitoring include allowing for a more collaborative workplace and a better work-life balance. Space management solutions also bring a huge cost saving benefit, so they are a prime example of combining social interest with corporate profit.

PropTech Tenant Experience Apps

In addition to this, proptech can enable a wide range of other applications with substantial social benefits.

Tenant experience apps can significantly improve the lifestyle of tenants by:

  • Making it easy to book rooms and facilities
  • Providing indoor building navigation
  • Enabling tenants to share their experiences
  • Providing access to useful information like onsite retailer menus or available parking spaces

Tenant experience platforms aside, proptech can assist in the following ways:

  • Automated legionella monitoring can increase water safety
  • Smart fridge monitoring can reduce food, medicine and vaccine wastage
  • Sensors can help to predict machine failure and improve health and safety

ESG is a sprawling topic, and there are many ways that proptech and property management software solutions can help commercial landlords set and achieve their objectives. To find out more, book a demo with us today.