The transformation in the real estate sector extends much further than greater sustainability and ease of use. In future, the most important change will be that buildings will be used for multiple purposes and multiple users. It is a development that is driven by increasing scarcity, intelligent technology and putting the emphasis on the human being.
In both the residential and the office markets shortage has driven up prices, especially at prime locations. At the same time, all these expensive, space consuming buildings are generally only partially utilized. The expectation is thus that the real estate market will become increasingly flexible in a way comparable to what is currently going in with transport (Uber, Greenwheels), houses (Airbnb) and personal items (Peerby).
For buildings, as well, utilization and the user are the focal points. Thanks to increasing mutual connectivity of personal devices, work areas and transport options, things are becoming easier and easier for employees – certainly when this is combined with intelligent systems. Think of the immediate availability of public transport, optimally configured work spaces, and easily being able to locate colleagues or other people with whom you currently have an appointment via smart devices.
This future is becoming more an actuality every day, based largely on intelligent solutions for enterprise asset management (EAM). EAM was initially conceived to limit real estate risks and increase real estate yields through improved insight. For the latter, the level of utilization traditionally plays a role, but how people who work in a building assess that building also plays a role.
The climate, the spatial classification, colors, lighting and air quality all play important roles. You name it; it is relevant for user’s feeling about and experience of the space. This in turn affects work results and productivity. The great thing is that all this can increasingly be configured per workplace in an ever more custom-tailored manner.
Technological development is moving via automated buildings to smart buildings. In the interim, we have moved in the direction of cognitive buildings. While smart real estate ‘knows’ how areas are used, a cognitive complex is able to intelligently anticipate external factors: the weather, the dynamics of specific days of the week and other items that affect how people ‘consume’ a building.
The cognitive aspect means that this involves self-learning systems. For example, technology based on Wi-Fi use can determine how many people are in a building and exactly where within the building they are located. These buildings can also estimate what areas will be booked and can detect and resolve potential shortages. A person who wants to go to lunch can be alerted if the company restaurant is currently quite busy, or can get an overview of healthy products that are being offered. Cleaning and maintenance can be based on sensors.
When employees specify times at which they will be away or will working from home in their agendas, buildings can take this information into account. Areas can then be used for other users or other objectives, for example. Conversely, when people are going to be in the building, they can be assigned the area that best fits their current needs automatically.
Multiple deployment is the future – with a view toward sustainability, energy usage, and productivity as well as configuring the living environment. Millennials’ changing desires and requirements are also stimulating developments. This generation works more flexible and perhaps works less regular hours, while at the same time imposing higher requirements on their work and living environments. Fewer parking spaces will be needed, and there will be a greater need for openness and individuality. You need look no further than IBM’s own B.Amsterdam building, which has been transformed from an obsolete office building into a breeding ground of innovation.
Again: optimization and circularity also start in the real estate world by connecting people, devices, infrastructures and buildings. When the requisite intelligence is unleased on the shared and generated data this creates – for example IBM Watson IoT Cognitive Solutions – the possibilities are virtually endless.
Watch the film to see where the combination of EAM and cognitive solutions can lead during the building period. There is a good reason the discussion launched by Blikvangers Bouwen [eye-catchers construct 2025 initiative] began with this topic. A smart building can be a catalyst for all this.
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