Smart building technology critical to business strategy

Schneider Electric has shed new light on the importance of smart building technology in driving workplace productivity, innovation and energy efficiency.

Activate to Collaborate: The Evolution of the Smart Workplace shows while Australian leaders agree smart building technology is crucial to positive building development, less than half are willing to invest in the technology.

Drawing the information from commercial real estate leaders such as Mirvac, LendLease, BUPA and Macquarie Bank, Schneider Electric said hesitation is an issue.

“There is a need for brave early-adopters to take heed of the success seen by European counterparts,” the report said, acknowledging buildings haven’t changed much since the advent of flexible and activity-based working nearly 20 years ago.

“The third evolution of smart buildings and the smart technology that powers them is transforming the old-style buildings, inert containers of siloed information and services, into hyper-connected responsive and controllable machines. The result is converged technology in healthier buildings enabling a smarter, more innovative and productive workplace.”

The study looks at the development of more sophisticated building management systems, converged technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), which are bringing more elements of building infrastructure online and producing vast amounts of data – data covering everything from employees’ movements around the building to desk occupancy and air quality.

There is a strong interest in the use of big data and predictive technologies to inform companies on how to maximise the potential of their workplace and their people, according to the report.

Key findings:

  • Almost all industry leaders (83 per cent) agree smart building technologies are now critical to their business strategy
  • Only 43 per cent of industry leaders are prepared to invest in a smart building
  • Smart technology has the power to transform old-style offices into data-driven, hyper-connected, app-centric workplaces
  • Business leaders acknowledge that smart workplaces will drive innovation, increase productivity, promote healthier lifestyles and attract talent
  • 95 per cent of participants said the wellbeing of their employees and the impact this may have on productivity are key components of their corporate and real estate strategy