Technology company View announced this week that its smart windows have started to ship to the Epic II, a 470,000 square foot, 23-story office building in Dallas. The property will serve as a regional hub for ride-sharing company Uber. Epic II is scheduled to be occupied in 2022 and serve as part of a large-scale, mixed-use development that will include multi-family properties, retail and a boutique hotel.
View creates smart and connected buildings that help improve people’s health and wellness as well as reduce energy consumption. Its smart windows automatically adjust their tint in response to the sun, which increases tenants’ natural light access as well as reduce heat and glare, creating a more comfortable environment for employees. Access to natural light is also believed to help reduce eyestrain, headaches and drowsiness. Every View installation has a smart building platform that comprises power, network and communication infrastructure.
The Epic II will feature 182,000 square feet of View Smart Windows, meaning the building won’t need blinds or shades and it will help Uber reduce energy consumption and achieve its sustainability goals. Meanwhile, the View Smart Windows will maintain Epic II’s views of Downtown Dallas and serve as one of the major technology showpieces of the state-of-the-art office building.
“We’re excited to work with Uber because there’s great alignment with their strategic imperatives of employee health and wellness, sustainability and climate change and truly intelligent buildings,” View Chief Business Officer Rahul Bammi told Connected Real Estate Magazine. “We are a perfect match from that perspective and that’s great because I believe there’s going to be a market trend where broadly people aren’t going to say, “I do either this or this.’ They’re looking for solutions that are better for people, climate and technology, and we hit all of those.”
“Partnering with View gave us an opportunity to deliver a healthier, more sustainable and fundamentally more advanced space,” AJ Greulich, Uber’s Head of Workplace for the U.S. and Canada said in a statement. “View’s smart windows will help us attract and retain the best talent in the DFW area by creating a comfortable, engaging, and productive work experience.”
Investment in View reveals desire to return to work
Many businesses have had to implement remote work policies because of the COVID-19 pandemic. After several months of telework with productive results, people began to wonder if the office was necessary at all. Concerning times for the commercial real estate industry for sure, but companies like Uber opting to cover their buildings in View’s Smart Windows is a sign that they, and their employees, want to eventually work in an office environment again. View’s technology is meant to create a healthier environment for employees—businesses wouldn’t invest in a solution if there weren’t employees to protect.
“Office spaces will be different, but they aren’t going away,” Bammi told Connected. “People are just figuring out how we get there. We may need to redesign the office to have more collaboration areas and fewer sitting spaces, or have it so 100% of the workforce isn’t in every day. Maybe 80% come in, but we will have a greater need to be able to collaborate with each other. There’s a new normal—let’s figure out how to make a healthier building, but we need to build infrastructure to get people back.”
Employees who come back to View-equipped buildings might enjoy more than the smart window technology. The company also has a full intelligent building platform that uses sensors and modules to look at every variable in a building’s environment. This includes temperatures, humidity, light levels, noise, air quality and carbon dioxide levels. View’s platform uses machine learning to make buildings as healthy as possible for employees without the tenant having to do anything. For example, if 10 people are in a conference room and the air gets too “stuffy” the building can detect rising carbon dioxide levels, and automatically begin recirculating the air. Eventually, View plans for this same platform to improve in-building cellular connectivity.
“We believe in technology as a solution to solve problems,” Bammi said.
View is going public
On Nov 30, View announced plans to become a publicly listed company through a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) CF Finance Acquisition Corp. II (Nasdaq: CFII), sponsored by Cantor Fitzgerald. For more information, check out the company press release.
Joe Dyton can be reached at email@example.com.