The Smart Buildings Show on 18th and 19th October at Excel London provided a captivating glimpse into the future of real estate by showcasing an array of innovative products and technologies. Beyond the interactive displays, it fostered crucial conversations, offering profound insights into the changing dynamics of the real estate industry.
As the world grapples with environmental challenges and the need for more sustainable living and working spaces, the real estate industry is poised to play a pivotal role.
The Imperative of Retrofitting
One of the most enlightening dialogues occurred at the Energy Management Theatre between our CEO Dan Drogman, Fiona Sawkill, Matthew Marson, Sanjaya Ranasinghe and Jess Costanzo, moderated by Justin Kirby, where the panel explored the role of retrofitting in climate change conversations. It’s a fact that 80% of the buildings that will exist in 2050 already stand today. This statistic alone underscores the urgency of reevaluating the approach to older buildings, making them more environmentally sustainable. The real estate industry is pivotal as we strive to meet our climate action goals.
Currently, buildings are accountable for a staggering 40% of global carbon emissions, making it crucial to address the environmental impact of existing structures. Retrofitting is not merely a moral obligation but a practical necessity. It is about improving the carbon footprint of older buildings while ensuring they remain viable and attractive. This challenge requires innovative solutions, as these buildings are not just structures but also our homes, offices and more.
The Power of Technology in Retrofitting
Fiona Sawkill presented a novel idea at the Smart Buildings Show. It revolves around the notion of “Smart-enabling” buildings. Smart enabling is a better term for the transformation of older structures into modern, efficient, and sustainable spaces by integrating cutting-edge technology.
By embracing technological advancements, buildings can evolve into efficient, eco-friendly structures that meet the present demands and contribute to a more sustainable future.
The Transformation of Landlord-Tenant Relationships
Other compelling discussions at the Smart Buildings Show centred on the evolving dynamics of the landlord-tenant relationship. Traditionally, landlords were seen merely as providers of square footage and a lease agreement. However, in the modern era, the role of a landlord has shifted dramatically. They have transitioned into service providers tasked with delivering space and a holistic experience to their occupants. The conversation highlighted the necessity for landlords and tenants to collaborate closely, focusing on the end-user experience.
It’s evident that modern office occupiers seek more than just space; they demand a seamless and technologically advanced environment. Integrating technology into buildings to provide real-time data on air quality, energy consumption, and other vital factors is paramount. This technology-driven approach ensures that occupants clearly understand what they are getting, creating a symbiotic relationship between technology and real estate.
The show reemphasised what we believe at Smart Spaces: With the right mindset and innovative strategies, buildings can evolve into beacons of sustainability, creating a brighter future for all.