According to leading developers and tenants from Australia’s vibrant commercial real estate industry, buildings haven’t really changed much since the advent of flexible and activity-based working nearly 20 years ago. But that is about to change.
The third evolution of smart buildings and the smart technology that powers them is transforming the old-style buildings, inert containers of siloed information and services, into hyper-connected responsive and controllable machines.
The result is converged technology in healthier buildings enabling a smarter, more innovative and productive workplace. Throughout a set of interviews and surveys of nearly 100 industry experts from the corporate real estate sector, Schneider Electric has identified in a new report the trends and drivers that are shaping smart technology and the next generation of buildings.
Smart buildings enable amazing user experiences that increase wellbeing, improve collaboration and support innovation and productivity. Our research shows that 83% of organisations see smart buildings as important, but only 43% are prepared to pay more to locate in one. The imbalance in investment in the technology must be addressed through a shift in how these buildings are procured; a new commercial paradigm where developers, tenants and advisors collaborate and negotiate to deliver the collective vision.
More sophisticated building management systems, converged technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) are all bringing more elements of building infrastructure online and producing vast amounts of data in the process. Data covering everything from employees’ movements around the building to desk occupancy and air quality can be analysed and maximised or mitigated. There is a strong interest in the use of big data and predictive technologies to inform companies on how to maximise the potential of their workplace and more importantly, their people.
The research uncovered a number of trends including the subtle shift in activity-based working back to the needs of team culture and team working; the need for a building to be able to respond to the changing dynamics of an organisation, through agile working, flexible workspaces and co-working; and health and wellbeing. In fact, 95% of the people who participated in the Schneider Electric survey said that the wellbeing of their employees and the impact this may have on productivity are key components of their corporate and real estate strategy.
Some of the major drivers for investment in technology and building design are the need for innovation, increased productivity and talent attraction. 89% of interviewees agreed they would be open to the idea of gathering data on the location and activities of staff in the workplace if it made them more productive; however this opens up issues of privacy and ethics. As only 68% of our survey agreed they fully understood what a smart building is, as a result of our research, Schneider Electric has defined a model that provides a framework for understanding the next generation of building and incorporates the key trends identified in our interviews.
For more information about this, and to read the full report, visit the Schneider Electric website
The Urban Developer is proud to partner with Schneider Electric to deliver this article to you. In doing so, we can continue to publish our free daily news, information, insights and opinion to you, our valued readers.