It is often said that investing in real estate is one of the best ways to build wealth over time. With that said, purchasing a piece of commercial property and using rent as an ongoing revenue stream is one of the most tried-and-true methods of becoming a real estate investor. However, as with any type of investment, there are certain steps one must take to mitigate risk and maximize ROI. For more on how to accomplish this, keep reading for 5 innovative features to look for in a piece of commercial property.
As America eyes a net-zero economy by the year 2050, commercial buildings are under increasing pressure to add energy-efficient features to their properties. A fundamental means of making this a reality is by fortifying the building envelope via improved insulation. There are many types of insulation on the market, and all should be explored by commercial properties. Some examples include roof cover boards to prevent heat loss through the roof, radiant floor heating that provides insulative mats that heat the floor directly, and rigid polyiso exterior wall insulation that eliminates thermal bridges in the framing.
With rents skyrocketing across America, many commercial tenants are searching for ways to share their space with other businesses to help defray costs. Therefore, commercial buildings that provide elite versatility and promote customization will definitely stand out from the crowd. To accomplish this, many buildings are tearing down walls and providing more open interiors to make it easier to quickly give the space a facelift via portable partition walls and customizable screens. The downside to this approach is that the absence of solid walls can allow for unwanted sound transfer and distracting echoes within the space. To help in this regard, decorative acoustic panels for the walls and acoustic ceiling clouds are necessary to absorb sound and keep business local to an otherwise open interior.
Along the lines of open interiors and energy efficiency features, a greater window area is being built into commercial facilities to promote the flow of natural light throughout the space. While this approach reduces energy consumption while boosting worker morale in the process, many types of window glass will be conspicuously weaker than a solid concrete or brick wall. Therefore, when installing new windows to a commercial building, it is important to choose hurricane-grade storm windows. Using a structural steel frame, commercial storm windows are fabricated using reinforced glass that can withstand winds of up to 250 MPH and projectile force of 100 MPH, preventing damage and protecting the airtightness of the building envelope through all types of weather conditions.
In contrast to the pitched roofs that adorn most private residences, commercial buildings will frequently feature a flat roof. This is beneficial for maintenance and repair access and promotes versatility for rooftop usage, such as via a rooftop deck. The downside to flat roofs is that accumulated precipitation may not drain as quickly as on pitched roofs. This requires additional insulation to protect against leaks. When the compressive force of the flat roof insulation, standing precipitation, and increased foot traffic are taken into consideration, the roof becomes at risk of damage. Therefore, it is important to look for flat roofs that utilize b decking between the substrate and roof insulation. B-decking provides diaphragm shear that transfers compressive forces on the rooftop into the building’s frame, significantly reducing the risk of acute damage to the roof.
Although it is nobody’s favorite topic to discuss, commercial building owners must keep potential lawsuits and liability at the forefront of their consciousness. News of damage from severe weather events and human tragedy spread instantly in the social media era, and buildings found to be lacking in any of their safety features can result in unspeakable tragedy and the death knell of the business in the blink of an eye. Although there is really no way to be too thorough in safety preparations, a few of the most pertinent considerations to be on the lookout for when assessing a commercial building include:
If there is anything about the building that gives you pause, partnering with a professional commercial building inspector can be a great way to proactively prioritize safety. Although this will be an upfront investment, it can help you prevent astronomically higher costs should an event arise in the future.
Without a doubt, purchasing a piece of commercial real estate is one of the best investments a person can make. To help guarantee you are making a sound investment, look for top-notch insulation, noise management features, hurricane-grade windows, flat roof support, and modern safety features that will help your property stand out to commercial tenants and maximize your income potential!
– Sam Willis
Sam Willis is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on commercial real estate. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia where he enjoys spending time with his wife and researching real estate trends in his free time. Sam’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a new construction industry resource.