I have been working on smart buildings for more than 20 years. Historically, the focus was very much on reducing buildings’ energy consumption, which was easily quantifiable. If you install solar panels on the roof, you can easily measure the impact by looking at your next energy bills.
Following the initial focus on energy, the industry’s attention shifted to optimizing space. Clients wanted to use technology to ensure they had the right number and type of meeting rooms, and that they were using office floor space, car parking and bike storage optimally. They saw space optimization as a way of enabling tenants to minimize their leased floor space to save costs.
What I’m seeing today is clients focusing more and more on their tenants and delivering an exceptional user experience. The impact of using technology to optimize user experience is generally more intangible and so more difficult to measure. But to me, the challenges that currently exist are what make the future exciting. I am excited to see what innovations are going to emerge from this more people-centric approach.