The Need for Updating

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Aging Facilities Part 1: Demanding Tenants Driving Building Modernization

This is the first blog in a series of four that discuss the challenges of aging buildings, including the demands of today’s tenants, the costly consequences of older facilities, modernization strategies, and the resulting benefits.

Building owners and managers of aging buildings are facing some very tough challenges today. Whether their tenants are office workers, hotel guests, or students on a campus, the people that manage buildings know that older, outdated ones aren’t as appealing—or as easy to fill—as newer or more modern ones. Tenants are becoming more demanding, as they want to work, stay, and learn in buildings that support their productivity, sustainability, and connectivity needs—or else they will go somewhere else.

And let’s face it—older buildings are not great for the facilities manager or the owners, either. Oftentimes, these buildings were constructed more than 20, 30, or maybe even 50 years ago, so the infrastructures and systems are outdated, inadequate, and downright expensive to run.  Consequently, maintenance and operations costs are high, space utilization is inefficient and poorly managed, and innovative technology can’t be supported.

The needs of tenants are growing…

What do today’s office workers, hotel guests, and students want and expect? They want all the conveniences of a smart, intelligent building, including modern connectivity and mobility, workplace quality, sustainability, security, and efficiency. Yes, that’s a big list, but it’s what it takes to create an environment that is productive, safe, and conducive to good health in the workplace and elsewhere.

The good news is that when building owners create such environments, increased occupancy rates, lower costs of operations, and improved profits will follow.

Let’s take a closer look at the three types of tenants mentioned here and identify specifically what they look for in their respective buildings and why their needs should be important to business owners.

  • Office workers want the same modern conveniences that connectivity offers them at home and elsewhere. They want always-on access for all their mobile devices, and they want to control their working environment to ensure the most productivity possible. According to Navigant Research, the fine tuning of lighting and HVAC settings in office buildings can not only generate cost savings, operational efficiency, and sustainability improvements, but it can also create a better occupant experience. And intelligent building solutions promote occupant health, which in turn drives greater productivity as a result of reduced absenteeism and greater satisfaction.
  • Hotel guests want a personalized, connected, and intuitive digital experience that provides them with comfort, convenience, and control. When hotels deliver this effectively, research indicates that these attributes can positively impact their future business. For instance, a 1% increase in online reputation score leads up to a 0.89% increase in average daily rates, an occupancy increase up to 0.54%, and up to a 1.42% increase in revenue per available room.
  • Students on campus today are connectivity savvy, so they need to have modernized classrooms, dormitories, recreation, dining, and athletic facilities for always-on access. They also are very environmentally conscious, so they want to go to schools that are energy efficient and sustainable. Because of these needs and the rapid rise of e-learning options, schools are fiercely competing for students these days, so it’s almost an imperative to offer these capabilities. In higher education, for instance, student and faculty recruitment, national rankings, and the overall welfare of the campus population are all impacted by the condition and usability of a school’s facilities. And, as an aside, studies show students’ performance increased by an average of 15% and up to 30% with improvements such as better indoor climate control.


As mentioned before, office complexes, hotels, and campuses with modern capabilities have inherent benefits for building management, as updated systems are a foundation for better energy usage, improved maintenance, increased security, and more effective space utilization. Modernization also drives improved financial performance and operational efficiency, so these efforts can provide a win-win for not only tenants but also building owners and managers too!

To learn more about how to modernize aging buildings, read this white paper: New Life for Aging Facilities: Four Strategies for Future-Proofing Older Buildings.

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