The Leader Magazine

SEP 2018

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the leader September 2018 25 time data on where people are working, what technological systems they are using, how those systems are being used, the amount of energy they consume, and the costs involved. All these changes have the potential to enhance human performance. "In the same way a FitBit tells us how many calories we've burned and hours we've slept, augmented rooms and surfaces will track our behaviors through data pulled from our devices and bio-informed sensors – adjusting lighting, visual privacy, acoustics, and temperature with algorithms conceived according to our personal preferences," said Elise Valoe, global research manager at Steelcase. e volving tech strategies The convergence of technology and CRE has brought about challenges as well as opportunities, with every organization at a different place in terms of incorporating and investing in these technologies. While many companies are engaged and see technology as driving a real end-use experience for their employees and giving their employees choice, others see "smart" buildings as still being very engineering-focused. For many firms, the common entry point to using technology in their buildings has been to use it to improve energy efficiency and maintain equipment and systems. And, other basic priorities such as accurately estimating occupancy continue to be important. Data and technology tools are helping CRE zero-in more precisely on those basic space needs. "Once you get the basics right, you unlock a world of opportunities where you can start understanding who people are in the workplace, how they're behaving, enabling you to better calibrate your service delivery and your footprint from what you learn from the data," said Griffin James, senior manager, Strategy & Operations at Deloitte Consulting LLP. For many organizations that already have a solid foundation for space optimization, the next shift is leveraging technology to add further value by enhancing the occupant experience. Similarly, increased attention is also being given to the attraction and retention of talent. Other goals of the emerging digital workplace include improving employee productivity, collaboration and innovation, as well as raising brand image. f ocus on operating efficiencies The starting point for many firms is on the occupancy- and space- optimization level or engineering, where they can see hard value outcomes. The history on smart buildings or building-management systems (BMS) stretches back to the 1980s, when technology was largely used to optimize equipment and reduce energy via common controls such as timers and sensors for lighting and HVAC systems. However, even that technology has continued to evolve. A proliferation of vendors and suppliers is offering new solutions or improvements on solutions that have been around for years, and that is creating competition and innovation in workplace technologies. "Whether you are talking about how people communicate or building-management systems, HVAC controls or elevator controls – everybody is innovating within their own space and making the many different products better," said Alan Nager, MCR, SLCR, global technology team leader at Newmark Knight Frank Global Corporate Services. Increased competition is driving innovation and lowering costs, which is helping end users adopt more of these technologies, he added. Today, sensors and IoT systems can set alerts to ensure that optimal temperatures are maintained. Instead of running HVAC on specific schedules, the system is able to respond in real time to changes. This means that when a space gets too hot or too cold, instead of a customer having to alert the facilities team, the system has already anticipated this and reacted accordingly. Similarly, the system can gauge equipment that might not be functioning as it should and send someone to check on it, with the idea being to create a fully automated problem-resolution loop. Occupancy management is the other area where sensors and IoT play a key role. "We're trying to gain intelligence on how the space is being utilized, which CRE is doing by monitoring people within the

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