A new report from Carbon Lighthouse examined indoor air quality and its perception by the public amid the pandemic. The U.S. Consumer Sentiment on Indoor Air Quality and COVID-19 survey found that a “vast majority”—91 percent—of consumers believe that IAQ is important in the prevention of COVID-19 spread. Seventy-seven percent of consumers said proof about a hotel’s IAQ would impact their decision on where to stay, 52 percent said they would pay more to stay at a hotel with better IAQ and 76 percent said a rating system on the IAQ of a building—similar to restaurant ratings—would help them feel better about entering that building. Twenty percent said that they or an immediate family member was likely to spend time in a hotel over the next six months.
With these statistics in mind, Carbon Lighthouse suggests owners not only ensure their buildings can adequately manage IAQ and implement the appropriate measures, but they must also effectively communicate their efforts and the resulting impact on occupants to begin driving building occupancy and work towards economic recovery.
Addressing indoor air quality can serve as the “tip of the spear” for a larger and much-needed modernization that would make the commercial real estate industry much more streamlined, agile and resilient, the report suggested. Technology that supports operations through data will uncover new value-add opportunities that, in turn, drive profits at the portfolio level. In a recessionary environment, tech-enabled decision making backed by data is key to demonstrating the real dollar value of any investment to modernize a commercial real estate portfolio, as well as the overall health of the individual assets, according to Carbon Lighthouse.