• Commercial Real Estate
  • Intelligent Building Technologies
  • Energy Efficiency

Three Steps to Transform Commercial Real Estate with Intelligent Building Technology

Casey Talon
Jan 02, 2019

Connected City 8

Real estate is at a crossroads as coworking upends the leasing paradigm and tenant satisfaction becomes the direct line to financial performance. As one panelist at 2018’s Realcomm CoRE Tech conference explained, the convergence of space and technology is a concept for transforming the traditional real estate business model and corporate vision. Real estate executives and technology providers discussed the opportunities and challenges for intelligent building technologies to bridge the gap between pragmatic necessities of building operations and aspirations for experience-focused facility optimization. The conference presentations and Navigant’s ongoing research point to three steps in deploying intelligent building technologies that will redefine the real estate industry.

1. Create a Robust Infrastructure

Data is the asset that will change the real estate game and the first step is establishing an infrastructure to access it. Whether the building owner has a portfolio of buildings with legacy technologies or is embarking on a new construction project, the data become the foundation for successful development of the intelligent building. An information technology (IT) backbone of sensors, gateways, communications protocols, and storage is necessary to create, communicate, and analyze building equipment operations and space use securely.

A related move in this first step requires a new kind of collaboration between the IT and operations departments that have long worked in isolation. As outlined in a recent Navigant Research report, Cyber Security will Define Market Leaders in the Intelligent Buildings Market, both executive leadership and department management must be involved to ensure projects follow a corporate security strategy while also reaping the benefits of remotely accessible and automated intelligent building solutions.

2. Leverage Analytics for Actionable Insight

Utilizing analytics software is the second step in a successful intelligent building strategy for real estate. As one panelist at CoRE Tech explained, intelligent building solutions enable the metricizing of building management, meaning the proliferation of data is the fuel for measuring success in running commercial buildings in new ways. The real estate executives made it clear, however, that data on its own is short on value. The real benefit comes from analytics that translate data into business-relevant information.

Measuring comfort, convenience, and satisfaction are the new metrics of success in today’s real estate market. Intelligent building analytics can analyze data from equipment operations, space use, and even maintenance requests to characterize improvements in the occupant experience.

3. Promote the Experience Overhaul

Finally, create both internal and external communication campaigns to showcase success in the journey toward the intelligent building. Energy and operational efficiency gains will demonstrate the ROI expected by executive leadership. These benefits will also supplement the story with the qualitative benefits of workplace flexibility and collaboration, uninterrupted connectivity, and sustainability metrics, all of which resonate with today’s workforce. Building owners can also promote the qualitative benefits that wrap technology-enabled convenience and sustainability around the real estate brand.