Health, safety take center stage with new initiatives

Granite Properties’ portfolio is undergoing a comprehensive upgrade program entitled “Inspire Wellness.”

Stephanie Lawrence
Senior managing director,
Granite Properties

As an office building owner with five high-quality office buildings in Denver, we consider the health and wellness of our customers a top priority. This is why our company launched a comprehensive program entitled “Inspire Wellness” and is investing more than $10 million to make meaningful, long-term improvements to the safety and health of our office building communities here in Denver and portfoliowide.

Many of us have been working from home, and while some enjoy the flexibility, others miss the benefits of working in an office, including the opportunity to collaborate, create, foster relationships and experience culture. To support our customers’ transition back to the office, we have spent the last several months researching and incorporating technological solutions and design updates to make significant safety improvements to our buildings. The following initiatives are designed to boost the wellness and productivity of our customers and help mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 and future viruses.

Air quality. One of the Inspire Wellness lead initiatives is integrating Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization technology, a safe, ozone-free and active air purification solution by Global Plasma Solutions to existing heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems in our Denver buildings. We also are installing bipolar ionization into our elevators. NPBI produces high concentrations of positive and negative ions that travel continuously through the air and attach to harmful pathogens, like bacteria, mold and viruses, including COVID-19. The ions inactivate pathogens by disrupting the surface proteins and destroying their ability to replicate. A recent independent study conducted by Innovative Bioanalysis and designed for Global Plasma Solutions aviation partner, Aviation Clean Air, showed that GPS NPBI reduced SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) by 99.4% in 30 minutes. Combining NPBI technology with our Denver buildings’ existing HVAC filtration systems has demonstrated providing an equivalency of a MERV 13 filter or higher, meeting or exceeding the ASHRAE standards for controlling pathogens, and creating a higher air quality similar to most hospital standards.

Touchless experience. We began exploring how to create a touchless path from the car to the office last year, before COVID-19. We have researched touchless technologies for elevators, doors and bathroom stalls, as well as studied the use of antimicrobial materials and other creative ways to help customers avoid touching surfaces as they walk through the building. We have installed features including touchless faucets, soap dispensers, toilet flushing and paper towel dispensers as well as foot-operated door openers in the restrooms. Many of our building entry doors are touchless as well. We also have placed self-cleaning NanoSeptic skins on high-touch surfaces including building entries, elevator buttons and restroom doors. Powered by light, Nanospetic skins turn these touchpoints into continuously self-cleaning surfaces by continually oxidizing organic contaminants.

Outdoor workspaces. A common feature of our buildings is outdoor workspace, now more important than ever to reduce the risk of transmission and enable social distancing. We are in the process of enhancing the outdoor experience across our portfolio to provide more outdoor options to our customers. These large patios offer a variety of seating options for work meetings or a quiet space to focus while enjoying the fresh air.

Customer communication. Since the pandemic hit, we have been in close communication with customers and have conducted regular customer surveys to address concerns and meet their needs. During March and April, while our customers worked from home, the Granite Property Experience team began preparing our buildings with safety precautions and signage advising customers of new protocols.

We go beyond Centers for Disease Control and Prevention safety protocols to keep our spaces clean, safe and ready for our customers to flourish. Combined with CDC and ASHRAE guidelines, the comprehensive approach places the well-being of our customers at the heart of each building and provides a safer and healthier environment for the present and the future.

Featured in CREJ’s September 2020 Office Properties Quarterly

Edited by the Colorado Real Estate Journal staff.