MIT Study Find Offices with Ample Natural Light Garner Higher Rent 04/05/20

In a recent study by the MIT Center for Real Estate and Sustainable Design, research showed that corporate tenants are willing to pay 6.1% more for offices with abundant natural light. Looking at over 5,000 offices in 900+ buildings across Manhattan the survey found natural light a top driver of higher rents. The proven health and wellness benefits of natural light including significant reductions in eye strain (51%) and headaches (63%) are key factors behind this rental rate trend. Not only is the wellness benefit of natural light great for employees, employers, in turn, see a higher level of productivity from their workforce. 

Additional data from a recent CBRE study shines some further (hopefully natural) light on the importance of access to copious amounts of natural light in the workplace. Their survey of over 1,600 employees of all ages across the United States and Canada found the top two most valued perks at the office are views of the outdoors and natural light. 53% of survey respondents selected these amenities ahead of a fitness center or open-plan space. Ironically enough however many employees also reported being the most dissatisfied with these in their current work environment. 

It is clear abundant natural within an office building provides benefits across the board for property owners, employers and employees but how to ensure the maximum amount of light to unlock these benefits? Many developers and property owners are focussing on large atrium lobby spaces which are certainly beautiful but not where workers of the building spend the bulk of their time. On the upper floors, traditional windows require shades to block glare and also often create hot or cold pockets, preventing anyone from sitting to close to the window thus wasting valuable real estate. The alternative here is View whose smart windows offer built-in intelligence, allowing them to predictably change their tint based on cloud cover and the angle of the sun. This high-performance technology—blocks out heat and glare, optimizing comfort levels for occupants while giving them access to the much-coveted natural light and views of the outdoors.

Developers across the country utilizing View glass are quickly finding these studies are not just data on a page but do translate to gains for their firms. Cottonwood Partners, owners of a successful office building in Cottonwood Heights just outside Salt Lake City, decided to include View Glass on Phase II of their Cornerstone project. While the new building design was very similar to the first there was one major change, View Smart Windows. Cornerstone II leased up 6 months faster than Cornerstone I and Cottonwood was able to charge rates similar to buildings in downtown Salt Lake City. “We got the building leased very quickly, mostly before it was even complete,” said Jeff Gochnour, president of development at Cottonwood Partners. “We’d like to attribute that to View glass, in part. People love the design of these buildings."

Contributor Bio

View’s vision is built around the belief that natural light is required to live a healthy and productive life, but the ordinary window is far from optimized to provide it.

View’s smart glass windows let in natural light and views and enhance mental and physical well-being by significantly reducing headaches, eyestrain, and drowsiness. They also reduce glare and heat, improving the energy efficiency of buildings by up to 20 percent.

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