Following on from Arie’s resonating sentiment, the discussion centered around the necessity for smart buildings and how they will play a part in shaping our future.
When it comes to providing a productive space for tenants to work, smart building technology is key. Smart doesn’t just mean having a fully optimized building, it means listening to tenants and having clear and open lines of communication to ever-improve the space. As George Roberts aptly pointed out: “Landlords are in the productivity game. They need to make their tenants as productive as they can be. Those that don’t see a relationship of heightened engagement are the ones likely to lose out.”
An undeniable theme that emerged from the discussion was that the role of the landlord has fundamentally shifted. To remain relevant the landlord must listen to the tenant and take action on their feedback, or, in the words of James Pellatt: “the workplace is never finished and we are faced with a world of disruption. The old world of simple rent collection from landlords is gone.”
Smart buildings are ever-evolving, ever learning spaces, and data sits at the very heart of that evolution. For Sandra Gritti, data is the key to creating perfectly convened spaces that really listen to the wants and needs of the occupier: “Technology has a fundamental opportunity to change the relationship between occupiers and buildings… Smart buildings elevate the conversation beyond the energy bill and we’re now using data to improve the experience within the building.”
As the discussion developed, Jacinda Lofland highlighted technology as “a transparency enabler” and noted the importance of the ongoing learning process that comes with smart buildings. Getting it right takes time, and Lofland raised the point that, when embarking upon a smart journey, it’s better to have a scale-up attitude, rather than being over-ambitious at the start of the process: “it’s so important to start small, have lessons learned and embrace failure.”
As real estate pushes forward into a smart new world, it’s essential that an industry-wide benchmark is established and maintained. “Tenants, users, operators and landlords need to be aligned – when all share a vision, it works well. SmartScore is absolutely needed. Thank you WiredScore for creating SmartScore.” – Grigor Hajiev.
The future of real estate rests with smart buildings – a point upon which all panelists were in agreement. Smart is essential to sustainable, future-proof, cost efficient and inspirational and, by putting the user first, ensures that we’re creating safer, people-centric spaces that are better both for the occupier and the environment.
When it comes to building appealing spaces that are versatile and able to attract the top talent, the key to creating the best in-building experience imaginable is to build with the user in mind – the key is to build smart.