The future of real estate is digital
Today’s properties must meet ever higher demands for new technology, digital infrastructure and sustainability solutions. And the properties that don’t meet these requirements risk becoming unattractive in the medium term.
31 MAY 2023
▪ 5 Min read
Plenty of property owners lack the time and resources to evaluate and pick technical solutions to keep up with digital transformation in the property industry.
With connected buildings, property owners can achieve better customer experience and flexible spaces for their tenants while meeting more stringent regulatory requirements and new market demands.
Digitalization as the only way ahead
In the real estate industry, digital transformation is becoming an increasingly important element in achieving business goals. Digitalization is also a tool to meet growing demands for sustainability and reduced climate impact, while at the same time meeting increased energy supply needs. Properties are a key component of the smart and sustainable city in everything from energy systems to logistics, deliveries, and mobility services.
Customers and businesses want smart and sustainable buildings
Tenants, banks, public authorities and the world at large are increasingly demanding connected and sustainable properties. In practice, this may include:
- Smart solutions for flexible working, such as mobile access, visitor management, and check-in as well as digital booking of workspaces and meeting rooms - ideally in custom-built apps for internal use, but also external apps for tenants.
- Properties and spaces that have the potential to be productive and thriving places for work, commerce, and living.
- Properties that comply with energy and environmental standards set by the authorities and the wider community and meet society's climate targets.
To meet requirements, more technology needs to be incorporated into properties, for example connected systems to deliver data securely. This in turn leads to challenges that are often new to property owners, such as concerns about IT security.
When digitizing properties, owners could also pose the following questions
- Is a proposed solution secure and scalable - both with respect to networks and information management?
- Is there one source of information, a strategy to gather data from different systems in the property in a central location to structure it and publish it to services and applications?
- Is it possible to better predict and thereby plan operational and maintenance activities, and on top of that automate management processes?
- Information from the property that provides fact-based insights. It enables property owners, together with Newsec, to better order purchases, measures, and technical solutions and to reduce costly systems or optimize space in an office.
All in all, property owners face a plethora of choices as they determine which technologies, applications and suppliers they need to address their unique challenges. Not to mention the issue of achieving efficient data exchange between those systems.
Our experience of using known technologies and tried-and-tested platforms has demonstrated (with emphasis) the importance of looking at the entire digital ecosystem, and making as few decisions as possible in isolation.
Key steps towards establishing a digital property
- Setting up a secure technical network - the “highway” to consistently connect systems and gain insights from the products and systems that are connected.
- Establishing monitoring infrastructure to carry out technical measurement of energy systems (water, heating, cooling, and electricity) in the property. Sensors can also be installed for so-called insight measurement, which can include measuring how the premises are used or movement patterns.
- Establishing automation infrastructure. Integrating with existing building automation systems to extract information on operations as well as data on performance and alarms from the property.
- Creating up a digital twin - a digital copy and data model of the property using drawings and documents to digitally describe the property and have all information consolidated and represented in one place.
And on top of that, we recommend a method for real-time monitoring of cost drivers and energy consumers in a property, the first step towards efficiency gains.
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