The interplay between office landlords and developers, investors, operators, and occupiers is being altered by the emergence of proptech. Increased reliance on technology and data is producing an excellent employee experience.
There is an interesting trend worth mentioning within the commercial real estate (CRE) space. The COVID-induced pandemic that resulted in halting of construction activity across the country, couldn’t deter the industry stakeholders from building a capacity for technology adoption. Property technology (Proptech) adoption has only increased across the real estate sector. Much of the CRE, including shared workspaces, are witnessing the benefits of a proptech adoption.
What does adoption mean?
The CRE industry is ripe for disruption. In the fast-paced world, new technology solutions relating to data and proptech are constantly emerging while older systems are being updated or phased out. Technologies like virtual reality, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence are changing the way people work, live, and interact with properties. These technologies also present an opportunity to increase operational efficiency and optimize performance at all stages of asset life cycles from initial investment to final disposition.
To keep up with this pace of change, the innovation and adoption curve in the industry has accelerated significantly. From proof of concept to pilots and production implementations, there is a major acceleration of new technologies in the property sector.
As a result, there is a future in which buildings will be even more connected, sustainable, and intelligent. These changes will lead to new standards for occupiers and owners, as they adopt these technologies across their properties to create more productive workspaces. And emerging technologies tend to impact the relationship between the five pillars of CRE: developers, investors, operators, occupiers and employees. Here’s how:
Development of collaborative workspaces: Developers and flex operators continue to focus on the creation of more collaborative workspaces. Tech adoption will drive innovation in the way we design and use space, bringing new ways of collaboration and interaction between humans and technology. Hence, buildings will be more connected, with sensors enabling occupants to track energy use, see and control their building systems, and access real-time information.
Based on the use of proptech, one can divide workspace development into two phases: the construction phase and the design phase. New technologies such as 3D printing and building information modelling (BIM) have the ability to transform the construction industry, bringing more customized designs and new materials. BIM is revolutionizing the construction industry by enabling designers and engineers to collaborate digitally, using real data to design buildings. Stakeholders in India have started using BIM and are able to reduce the time and cost overruns across projects.
While designing, developers are trying to create the workspaces of the future; they focus on creating work environments that would be more flexible and fluid. These will also be secure for data and more collaborative for teams. Much of this trend is backed by the demand from millennials. Being a majority of the current workforce, the segment continues to drive new standards for collaboration and flexibility in their workplaces.
Creating a more productive workspace: The pace of proptech adoption in the CRE space has been fast in the last two years. AR and VR technologies are now enabling designers, engineers, and facility managers to collaborate remotely and in real-time, saving time and money.
Much of the space recalibration in the new normal has been done keeping in mind the new requirements. For example, the use of VR is allowing designers to immerse themselves in the design and also train employees prior to them arriving at the site, helping to make the office safer.
AR, on the other hand, is being used in real time, including overlaying information, helping to guide the design process, as well as providing information on the surrounding environment. An example of adoption would be the creation of a connected cloud kitchen and a canteen across offices.
The success of a workplace
We are in the midst of an evolution. The focus is on developing a centralised operation to manage and operate an office. This would save time and money and improve occupant experience. By controlling most of the functions to a central hub, building managers now view data in real time and identify issues before they become problems.
Building operators are also using data to better forecast energy demand, enabling them to manage their facilities more efficiently. This data is being used to create a more sustainable environment, helping to reduce waste and water usage and even manage the parking space. Sensors can also monitor indoor air quality, helping to identify issues such as CO2 levels or temperature in different sections of a premise.
In times to come, proptech will prove to be an effective tool that will help the wider community in tackling the challenges like urban mobility and pollution around workplaces. Keep an eye out for the transformation and enjoy!
This story appeared in the 30 September, 2022 issue of Times of India and was originally published at: Proptech is driving CRE transformation