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Make Your Building App-cessible

Chicago Office

Today’s offices are getting smarter by maximizing the technology within each employee’s reach—their phone. (Yeah, that's why we're on our phones all day... using work apps...) We’ll discuss this top trend and more at our Property Management & Office of the Future event on Aug. 28.


It’s no surprise that tech firms are driving this savvy approach. ESD VP Jason McCargo (snapped with the family), who'll be a speaker at our event, is currently working on Google’s new office space at 1K Fulton (below) in the West Loop, where the themes have been innovation and integration. Between HVAC, lighting, power, AV, and security, he says, as well as potentially leveraging smartphones for local user control and monitoring. For example, an employee might be able to control the lighting levels around their desk area and see power consumption of space via an app, he says. But with great power comes great responsibility, of course, so you have to set and manage boundaries, he adds. (It’s even trickier when you’re operating within an existing building.)


Across the board within Jason’s workplace solutions group, he’s seeing tenants maximizing their spaces with as many people as possible, and in most cases forgoing private offices for an open-plan concept. On the engineering side, you have to make sure building systems (air distribution, supplemental cooling, power, etc.) can handle the increased occupancy density (whose HVAC and power demands could vary hugely, think traders v. lawyers). That shift has certainly made Class-A the most popular, but Class-B building owners and property managers have become much more interested in making electrical and mechanical upgrades to stay competitive, Jason says. (It can be a healthy undertaking, depending on the building’s age and design.)


When it comes to amenities, Jason’s team will often work with brokers to determine what buildings can offer and what can be built within the tenant’s space. In the past, he’s worked with clients to build things like fitness centers and full-fledged catering kitchens within their offices. For smaller tenants, they’re often looking for little more than shared conference space within the building, he says. Jason’s most heart-pounding moment this summer: Being in the eye of Hurricane Arthur in North Carolina. He’s from the area (been there, done that), but his Midwestern wife wasn’t a happy camper. Get your event tix here.