Netintegrity Blog

Building Walls for a Better Property Management Future

By Sandra Zimmerman

interior_living_wallIn most cases the phrase “building walls” has a negative association of putting up barriers and blocking things (or people) out. However, as is happening with many industries, building design and construction is currently undergoing a revolution of sorts, as revolutionary ideas are being introduced to solve problems related to population growth and urban density and the corresponding stresses that these create on our existing energy infrastructure and our environment.

Following are 3 emerging trends for the design and building of innovative walls that are likely to become more commonplace in the near future, as a result of the many benefits that they offer.

Living Walls

Living walls or green walls are self sufficient vertical gardens that are attached to the exterior or interior of a building. They are “growing” in popularity because they offer a number of both aesthetic and practical benefits. First off, not only do they look good and offer endlessly creative opportunities when it comes to design, but incorporating elements of the natural world into an urban setting, whether indoor or outdoor has a positive psychological effect on people. As we know, green vegetation serves to produce life-giving oxygen while filtering out harmful pollutants and absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere. So the more it can be incorporated into buildings both inside and out, the healthier our communities will be. In warmer climates and during the summer months, living walls can also block heat absorption into exterior walls, thus reducing a building’s energy requirements, which in turn lowers operational costs as well as environmental impact.
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“Smart Skins” and Solar Panel Windows & Walls

These days it’s not at all uncommon to see solar panels on building rooftops. However, in the case of high-rise residential and commercials towers, there is simply not enough roof space available to accommodate enough solar panels to meet a building’s energy requirements. On the other hand, the exterior walls of a building present a vast opportunity to generate enough energy to supply the entire building. It stands to reason that the taller the building, the more surface area it has available for the installation of emerging solar technologies. Designer architects are getting extremely creative in this space, as demonstrated in this look at 5 Smart Building Skins That Breathe, Farm Energy, and Gobble Up Toxins.  However, with so many glass-façade condos and office buildings being constructed these days, solar panel windows may have the greatest chance of becoming a main stream construction material that will enable a building to generate enough electricity to meet the demands of its occupants.

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Unique Problem-Solving Designs

In an effort to reduce energy consumption while ensuring the comfort and enjoyment of occupants, designer architects are coming up with solutions that are both practical and aesthetically pleasing — like a skyscraper in Dubai with a twisted structure that brilliantly serves to create shade for each unit, thus reducing air conditioning requirements. Visit this link to see 10 Real Estate Developments Using Design to Block Desert Heat

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Not only do these three innovative solutions lower operating costs and reduce the impact of buildings on the environment, but they can be used as a property management marketing tool to appeal to an ever-growing population of potential customers who really care about such things.

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Tagged Blog, Technology, Property Management, Marketing