Future amenities in Boston Metro office buildings may include hospital-grade air filtration systems, fresh air circulation and UV lighting, according to Boston Bisnow. Landlords have seen the writing on the wall with work-from-home becoming normalized, and slow-moving vaccine rollouts could mean empty offices for months to come.
The potential solution, as projected by Boston Bisnow’s “Healthy Buildings” event, is an upgrade of building systems to promote health and wellness. This is not a new idea, but it has taken an urgency in the pandemic era. For example, a Boston office tower at 888 Boylston has a water-fueled, chilled-beam system that continually circulates fresh air throughout the building, as a natural coolant. Previously, such a system was designed for energy savings, but today the fresh air circulation has appeal for health purposes.
Air filtration systems are another hot topic. MERV-13 air filtration systems, which are hospital-grade, may be combined with ultraviolet filtration methods to remove pathogens from air and water in the workplace.
Investing in indoor air quality and pathogen-removing technology is a viable way to restore tenant confidence. And just as LEED certifications brought measurable standards and a certain prestige to energy-efficient buildings, the International WELL Building Institute offers a similar path for healthy interior environments. The WELL Certification and WELL Health Safety ratings could become a way for landlords to distinguish their office space from competitors, and win more tenants.
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