The big picture story for smart buildings isn’t much better. Just 2% of poll respondents are using algorithms or robotics to respond autonomously to building or user needs.
It was observed that nearly one-third (31%) of poll respondents globally were applying smart building management tools to boost energy efficiency and sustainability. However, 46% weren’t investing in smart buildings at all — not even to enhance security measures, manage operations or to improve the user experience.
Despite this underinvestment, we now have hard evidence that smart building technology boosts the value of assets.
Dr. Chegut told our webinar audience that her team has compared smart building features of commercial office buildings in New York City with financial performance data, such as transaction prices and effective rents.
“Smart, connected and green buildings rent for 8.2% more than the buildings without those features. And they trade for 23.7% more than the buildings without those features. The greatest value is extracted when intelligent, smart, connected and green combine,” Dr. Chegut said.
A central feature in the smart building strategy
When it comes to the digital maturity curve, real estate remains behind many other sectors.
Bill Ruh, who led transformation programs at General Electric (GE) and Cisco Services for more than two decades, says, “the real estate sector is at the same place that retail was in the late 1990s.”
“We are in the early application of digital technologies,” Ruh said.
He is now working on a vision for a ’smart building ecosystem’ that will increase the number of live data points in Lendlease buildings by tenfold. Digital twins are a central feature in this smart building strategy.
Digital twin technology isn’t new. Virtual replicas of physical assets have been used in aerospace, engineering and manufacturing for decades. Digital twins helped rescue the Apollo 13 mission, clean up the Fukushima nuclear reactor after the 2011 tsunami and enhance the performance of Formula 1 racing cars. But using digital twins to optimize real estate is new.
While Lendlease has applied digital twin technology to just six buildings so far, Ruh said they are an ‘area of great promise’ for construction companies looking to address the productivity puzzle. Modeling buildings — ‘down to the last nut and bolt’ — means dealing with design, planning and supply chain deficiencies before anyone turns up on-site.