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High-performing buildings...the next big thing

27th June 2017

London is at the fore-front of smart cities, with a number of exciting infrastructure projects and smart buildings delivering against occupier demands and operating to a high level of efficiency. The value to real estate of these assets should be relatively clear from the high-end occupiers who choose to re-locate to these buildings.

Less clear is the value the smart cities evolution will bring to the vast majority of people that live and work in buildings that are not 'smart' or won't be connected into smart city infrastructure. Over 50% of buildings in the UK are over 50 years old and this creates a missed opportunity if we can't connect these buildings, and their occupants, to their smarter surroundings.

The opportunity therefore lies in creating a level playing field around building performance which embraces the differences between buildings and unites the various teams operating them. Currently, occupancy is viewed from a design perspective and the technical intricacies that provide a safe environment to work/live in are not reviewed continuously as the building takes on a live role in a city. We believe the answer is to create measures which everyone can understand and allow the academic and scientific community to influence.

In the modern world, with wearable sensor technology such as Fit-bits, individuals are used to tracking their health and understanding how to improve it. Translate this to the built environment and currently minimal data is shared, and when it is, the individual doesn't know how to interpret it in a way that will allow them to act on it. With the new wave of IoT sensors and 'Prop Tech', it is now possible to measure air quality, light, humidity and noise in real time, creating a huge opportunity to establish new building performance standards against the type of building, occupier, location and asset class.

The value of this approach is three-fold. Firstly from an occupier perspective, demonstrating they are providing a productive and safe environment for their teams. Secondly, the total cost of ownership is reduced through increased transparency of FM costs and thirdly, and more of a challenge maybe, is the increased value of an asset based on out-performing other assets in its class or location. This creates a true differentiator which everyone can understand.

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