How Commercial Real Estate Developers Take Heat Into Consideration

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High temperatures and heat waves are an uncomfortable reality in cities across the United States. As a commercial real estate developer in Arizona, it’s something we’re challenged with almost daily. With projected impacts of climate change and urban development, communities are likely to experience higher-temperature days; longer, more frequent heat waves; and “urban heat islands”.  

Plaza Companies is one of the top commercial real estate developers in Arizona. We often have to consider how heat impacts our properties. Additionally, we have to keep our tenants’ comfort and safety in mind. Read our article below and see how we take heat into account with our properties.

The Impacts Extreme Heat Has on Our Communities

The current and projected impacts high temperatures have on people, our economy, and infrastructure are tremendous. 

More than 65,000 people in the United States visit emergency rooms each summer for acute heat illness, and about 650 die from heat-related causes each year. However, there is widespread agreement that these numbers are underestimated due to underreporting. 

Additionally, the rise in temperatures can reduce the overall growth in the United States’ economic output. This is largely due to its impact on labor productivity, increases in healthcare costs, our agricultural outputs, and changes in consumer consumption. Higher temperatures also put a significant strain on our utilities. High energy demand during extreme heat waves disrupts utility operations and transmission capability.

How Do These Relate to Commercial Real Estate Developments?

Commercial real estate is entirely dependent on local markets and the long-term economic vitality of cities and regions. As we’ve indicated, extreme heat has a significant impact on our community’s economy. Urban Land Institute believes these effects can lead to less demand and devaluation of commercial real estate. 

Heat mitigation has traditionally been overshadowed by other sustainability goals like energy conservation and greenhouse gas emissions. With climate change and urban heat islands becoming a major concern for communities, developers are incorporating new ways to mitigate the heat.

How Are Commercial Real Estate Developers Beating the Heat?

There is not a simple solution for heat management. Commercial real estate developers must incorporate several strategies to reduce and offset urban heat island trends. The real estate industry is adopting new technologies to help mitigate the heat, like:

  • Cool walls
  • Reflective pavement
  • Dynamic glass
  • Integrated solar photovoltaics

Developers are also installing more air conditioning units and drinking-water stations throughout their properties. Some are even incorporating more vegetation, such as green roofs, urban farms, and green paths to provide much relief from the heat. In addition to those, commercial real estate developers are using vegetation to create shade for pedestrians and reduce cooling costs in their buildings. 

SkySong Includes a Heat-Conscious Design

SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale innovation Center, is one of Plaza Companies’  high-profile mixed-use developments. One of the biggest concerns we faced was how we can reduce the impact of the region’s famous summer heat. The center’s sustainable design and extreme heat management features address local climate extremes. Our efforts include:

  • Shade creation through shade screens, window glazing, and smaller windows facing the east and west sides
  • The SkySong buildings share centralized parking to minimize outside travel time
  • Pedestrian walkways are well-shaded by vegetation
  • The buildings are oriented to minimize solar heat gain

Plaza Companies is Arizona’s Premier Commercial Real Estate Developer

With almost 40 years of experience, Plaza Companies has helped develop, lease, acquire and manage hundreds of commercial properties. We provide investors with access to first-class properties to create valuable additions to their portfolios. Our extensive experience in real estate development makes us the go-to for your commercial needs. Contact us today and learn more about our services.

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