Smart infrastructure will be the default solution for an efficient, secure and sustainable future.
What if your smartphone were to be replaced for 24 hours, with a top-of-the-line mobile device from a decade ago? How inconvenienced would you be? How limited would you feel? Admittedly even as a postulated thought it’s pretty uncomfortable! Chances are that it would be far more disruptive to your day, than if you were to imagine yourself using a car, a refrigerator or even a washing machine from ten years ago.
That’s the power of connectivity and an intuitive interface you’d be missing. Buying groceries, keeping up with friends or managing your investments, your smartphone puts the world in the palm of your hands. What connected building technology does for the CRE industry and its customers is even more far reaching. Smart, IoT integrated, cloud and mobility empowered buildings improve energy efficiency, lower operating costs, provide exceptional occupant experiences and unprecedented sustainability.
Frankly, the case for connected buildings makes itself
We are all familiar with the saying that ‘you can’t manage what you don’t measure’, but connected buildings go beyond, into a brave new paradigm. What has excited the industry the most is not just being able to monitor assets on the go, but the ability to optimize operations in real-time as well!
Buildings are responsible for 40% of global GHG emissions(1). It’s no wonder that the Smart City concept has its roots embedded in environmental concerns. But it was the addition of a new generation of tech-savvy tenants and a highly competitive market which finally pulled the rug under for legacy business models. Whatever resistance to change the sector may have experienced is obsolete, in the post-COVID next normal.
The human population needs its buildings to be more efficient, secure and sustainable in the future. So how do we align the bottom line of building owners with the needs of their tenants? How do we address the heightened occupant safety needs, in the aftermath of a global pandemic?
A technology integrated model of real estate operations addresses the concerns of all stakeholders at once. Broadly speaking, the benefits include:
Energy Efficiency and Sustainability: Nearly two-thirds of the built area that exists today will still be around in 2050(2). Connected building technology is the logical path to transforming the sustainability of this existing building stock. With sensors providing constant input on usage and occupancy and controllers being able to act on equipment, modern CRE businesses have the option to instantly adapt – using real-time analytics and dynamic routines. Connected buildings are sustainable buildings, because they can allocate the exact measure of energy and resources required by all assets, at all times.
Occupant Comfort and Safety: Providing highly responsive customer experiences is non-negotiable in 2020. Smart work environments have been reported to improve productivity by up to 13%(3) However, what has well and truly escalated the need to put tenants first is the long shadow of COVID-19. Touchless access to services, regular app based updates and fool-proof visitor monitoring are now essential, if building owners want to retain clients in the post-pandemic world.
Optimized Operations: The CRE industry has been proactively reconsidering its digital tools, in recent times. Established CAFM solutions plugged a gap in the early years of digital transformation. But these solutions fall short on data-driven decision making, predictive maintenance and remote management. Strict social distancing guidelines forced CRE operators to use much leaner onsite teams than usual, when the pandemic hit operations. In its hour of need, it was connected building technologies proved to be the resilient solution for the industry.
Improved Profitability: The Smart Building market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 23%, over the next five years(4). This should hardly come as a surprise. Predictability is the key to achieving consistently profitable bottom lines. Connected buildings can be monitored down to the last KPI metric. CRE businesses have to adapt to the next normal, while still maintaining their edge in a business that was already highly competitive. Complete granular transparency into operations is now a non-negotiable for the industry.
Connected buildings will be the default standard
Everything about our world is growing exponentially. Our population is rising. We are becoming more urbanized than ever before. Our desire to live comfortable and empowered lives is driving a constant search for new innovations and conveniences. So how do we reconcile this appetite for constant evolution with a finite planet? Humanity is at a historic crossroads. In the past we have often adopted opportunistic technologies. Having brought the planet to the brink of environmental catastrophe the solutions we choose moving forward need to be holistic – but not at the cost of the economy.
Buildings are possibly the most critical underlying infrastructure for our civilization. How comfortably we live, how much we consume and how secure we are, is all linked to our built infrastructure. Connected building technology is an elegant solution, which unlocks a new level in livability and sustainability, while also making the most business sense.