Fountains With Sustainability Features Help Real Estate Stakeholders During COVID-19
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With virtually every commercial property in the country impacted by the coronavirus, building owners and managers are faced with unique challenges.
As many tenants are struggling economically at this time, rent revenues are likely to be less robust for real estate owners and operators, compelling these stakeholders to look for ways to trim operating costs as much as possible.
Fortunately, water features with sustainability elements, like those designed and constructed by OTL, promote cost efficiencies both during the current crisis and after the emergency has passed. In fact, when well-designed and thoughtfully constructed, a water feature will enhance a building’s beauty and value, while also conserving water and reducing overall operating costs on an ongoing basis.
In addition, OTL’s water features are equipped with remote-control features that enable operators and owners to monitor their systems and manage potentially costly problems off-site—which is critical during this time.
These benefits will become increasingly important as we move through the current crisis.
Below are a few ways water features can help real estate stakeholders reduce waste, lower building operating costs, and keep their buildings safe remotely.
- Water features decrease HVAC use.
Today’s atrium fountains and other interior water features can actually be integrated as part of a property’s environmental system as a means of reducing the relative humidity within the interior space, which in turn reduces load on the HVAC.
We have seen properties equipped with OTL’s water features benefit from reduced humidity, resulting in the ability to run air conditioning at a higher temperature – saving energy and costs – while keeping all building occupants comfortable.
In addition, tying outdoor fountains into a building’s mechanical system utilizes the water system as a heatsink for HVAC equipment, creating a passive heat exchange that reduces cooling electricity use substantially. This is a boon to the building’s overall environmental and has a powerful positive economic impact for property owners and managers.
- Modern fountains can conserve water.
Today’s water features have the ability to be run with recycled water, which increases a building’s sustainability, reduces costs, and deepens social impact.
Among the recycled water options building owners and managers can employ for use in on-site water features are rainwater harvesting, HVAC condensate (which is naturally distilled), greywater (water that is recycled from on-site systems such as sinks or other non-sewage uses), and municipal recycled water.
The above water sources are all less expensive than potable water and can be easily redirected to fountains and water features to ensure consistent motion with little environmental footprint.
The sustainability goal with any type of water use in a fountain or water features is to recirculate water, ensuring that only a finite amount of H2O is utilized. Nearly all of the fountains and water features our team at OTL builds are engineered to recirculate water.
- Water feature technology ensures energy conservation and remote control.
OTL utilizes the latest technology in its water features, which helps building owners and facility managers conserve energy, reduce utility bills, and manage these systems from off-site.
For example, we integrate technology such as variable frequency drive pumps and LED lights in the water features we design and build – ultimately reducing energy even further for the property as a whole.
Also, simple systems may be programmed to run at lower flow rates when visitors are less likely to be present, and some systems are outfitted with sensors to only be active when passersby approach.
In addition, technology is allowing today’s water features to be managed remotely, with systems that alert operators immediately if a leak is detected and controls that shut off the fountain automatically or manually from off-site if an emergency arises. At a time when few building owners and operators are physically at their properties, this technology is incredibly reassuring, keeping properties protected from damage and unnecessary costs.
Water features with sustainability elements provide property owners and managers with a money-saving and eco-friendly experiential amenity that beautifies their buildings. By decreasing HVAC use, conserving water, and utilizing modern technology, water features will reduce operating costs, have a positive environmental impact, and keep properties safe during the COVID-19 crisis and long after the pandemic is over.
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