Digital disruption is a challenge to our industry but there are smart solutions that can be applied to individual buildings and across portfolios
We are now facing a new era for buildings in which we will have better places to work, live and interact. “Intelligent” buildings will be responsive to the needs of occupants and provide added security, enhanced energy conservation, communication capability, and environmental control. Materials and products will be more durable, better designed, easier to maintain and of higher quality, with more attention being paid to increased construction productivity and an expeditious building cycle.
As a result of digital disruption all asset classes, real estate requirements are changing. Space users and advanced technologies are transforming our industry as increasingly mobile employees and consumers are changing how they work, shop and live. Tech-enabled workspaces are fast becoming more desirable than the physical personal space and, as population levels increase, how we use and share space is a key consideration.
As smart buildings rapidly evolve, corporate owners and investors are looking beyond individual buildings and using smart technology to manage larger real estate portfolios
One challenge currently facing the industry is that buildings are fixed and difficult to quickly or cost-effectively adapt to cope with technological advancements. As a consequence, many occupiers are not motivated to change. However, there are a growing number of incentives compelling owners to adopt smart technologies. These new smart solutions help deliver greater efficiencies, reduce costs, improve operational performance, enhance the value of a property, and reduce risks from equipment failure.
As smart buildings rapidly evolve, corporate owners and investors are looking beyond individual buildings and using smart technology to manage larger real estate portfolios. Such connectivity is poised to take an even bigger step forward as major metros around the world develop their own master plans for creating “smart cities”. These urban environments promote connectivity among city-wide systems such as telecommunications, transportation and utilities to better manage core functions and drive their own efficiencies in today’s competitive global market.
With developments in technology comes the opportunity to design smart solutions to how we manage and share space. New business models are needed to accompany this shared economy, supported by a different mindset and fresh thinking. The key to surviving and thriving will be to adapt more quickly, developing a flexible approach that can withstand future volatility. As an industry, real estate must now do more to create value and drive operational excellence and growth.
Helen Gough is head of Building Consultancy, Project Management & Cost Management, JLL