How a commercial building achieves 100% tenant lease renewals by addressing indoor air quality
The Port of Rotterdam in The Netherlands is the real estate company that owns and manages the port along with its surrounding buildings. With its scale of operations covering Europe’s largest seaport, ensuring health and safety in its buildings are central to its success in ensuring that its clients utilize its port.
As a relatively new and green-certified building, they are striving to adhere to processes that will promote a healthier indoor environment.
However, despite this goal, there are areas that have been overlooked, especially indoor air quality. Tenants were complaining about discomfort and illnesses but their solutions were not yielding any positive result. With less than 6 months remaining in the tenants’ contracts, a number were threatening to not renew.
When it comes to improving building health and safety standards along with indoor air quality, the Port of Rotterdam identified these key challenges they needed to quickly address:
- Continuous complaints from tenants about discomfort and illnesses while inside the building
- All tenants not willing to renew their lease contract, which was due in five months, due to discomfort, health and wellbeing issues
- The HVAC contractor/consultant advised them to spend USD$150,000 to retrofit new systems in the building in spite of it being a relatively new building
The business solution from uHoo allowed the Port of Rotterdam to identify the root cause of their problem as well as discover other issues they didn’t know existed.
Some of the benefits that the Port of Rotterdam achieved with the use of uHoo:
Discover all hidden causes for discomfort and illnesses of tenants leading to 95% reduction in complaints
When the uHoo devices were installed, there were new issues that were discovered, going beyond a simple HVAC equipment overhaul.
- Unhealthy levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) brought about by limited ventilation, which led to stuffiness, fatigue and a loss in productivity. This is particularly evident in the meeting rooms.
- A very dry environment caused by low humidity, which corroborates the sore throat and dryness that occupants often complained about.
- High dust levels and VOCs (volatile organic compounds). This prompted the Port to check the building’s filter systems only to discover that it has not been maintained or serviced for years.
All these issues were easily addressed through proper monitoring and management and were completed within 2 months resulting in a 95% reduction in complaints. The insights and actions that the uHoo Business Solution recommended did not require any dollars to be spent. All issues were addressed through data driven decisions and management.
100% of tenants renewed their lease contracts
The tenants felt the improvements within a couple of months. The Port also shared the air quality data with their tenants and the initiatives they were doing to improve their health and well-being. This type of data-focused initiative and transparency was highly appreciated by the tenants.
It showed the landlord’s commitment to its tenants. Because of the improved relationship, all tenants renewed their lease contracts. From installation to actionable results and change, uHoo was able to fully reverse the negative situation in just four months.
Saved USD$150,000 in building retrofits
Following the improvements, the Port of Rotterdam was able to reap financial benefits.
No longer needing to retrofit the building, they were able to save on the steep amount that was being proposed by a contractor. Instead, uHoo provided them with data and insights to effectively manage their operations. With the four seasons in the Netherlands, air quality indoors is also affected by outdoor conditions. Continuous monitoring from uHoo also allowed the Port to be proactive and efficient in managing the building even with the changing seasons.
Moreover, they were able to utilize the data from uHoo to further optimize energy use in the building by balancing energy use with occupant comfort, health and wellbeing, something that they were not able to do in the past.
Green building certification recertification
Aside from increasing productivity, lowering overall discomfort and illnesses, and removing tenant complaints, installing uHoo as an indoor air quality monitor allowed the Port to use the data as an input for their building’s recertification.
With uHoo, the Port of Rotterdam was able to identify the specific problem areas in the building and implement appropriate changes.
They were able to satisfy all of their tenants thereby avoiding churn, protect lease revenue, and save maintenance costs.
“uHoo helped us monitor our building. The knowledge uHoo provided gave us the capacity to properly adjust the environment for the wellbeing of our tenants. Continuous measurement of the indoor air quality over a longer period has also provided the correct direction to improve the climate control system of the office building and a better financial control of the adjustments.” – Ad van der Heijden, Project Manager, Port of Rotterdam
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