3 Ways to Accelerate Your Facility’s Digital Transformation

Businesses have experienced an unprecedented amount of change over the past year. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that you can always make the best of any situation by taking a step back, assessing the situation, and identifying opportunities in the challenge. One example is digital acceleration, it has allowed businesses to reap considerable benefits, even pushing decision-makers to adopt a growth mindset in regards to digitalization instead of a survival one.  

That being said, here are 3 ways you can embrace a growth mindset to accelerate your facility’s digital transformation:

 

  1. Unlock Automation’s full potential 

Far from being an unnecessary luxury, intelligent buildings are increasingly becoming a reality worldwide. They offer advantages for owners, users, and operators alike. With their smart technology and automated processes, they offer numerous opportunities for optimizing energy consumption, increasing user comfort and enhancing security. Smart lighting, for example, adjusts brightness levels to suit conditions in a room or area, while smart heating and air conditioning systems ensure optimal temperature control. 

In the U.S., heating and cooling represent the largest annual electricity use in the residential sector and a major expense in commercial buildings. Energy consumption can be reduced by as much as 45%  with intelligent building technology that monitors energy consumption in real-time and automatically adjusts usage according to real-time demand. Smart buildings automatically adjust lighting and HVAC based on activity and occupancy, whereas conventional buildings use fixed schedules or operators manually adjust settings.

Achieving full automation means transforming real estate from fixed assets into flexible services that are able to adapt to the changing needs of their users. For example,  Occupancy can be remotely managed to control densities and use space efficiently.  The office space in a building could vary throughout the day or week, according to whether it’s being used for quiet work, team collaboration, or client meetings. Or rooms could be booked before use – just like we book an Uber or an Airbnb – so that there is no wasted space. The benefits are clear: optimization for users and operators alike, as well as tremendous energy savings. 

 

  1. Think digital differentiation 

In today’s consumer-driven world, people are increasingly seeking out buildings that deliver a highly personalized experience. This is why many large businesses are investing in smart buildings with the ultimate goal of offering their tenants the best possible experience. Smart buildings are designed to be more comfortable and energy-efficient, with the ability to control indoor air quality and  manage lighting and temperature, which not only deliver energy savings but also improve the comfort of your spaces. 

Building owners also need to respond to needs arising from the pandemic. In fact, After two years of working remotely, most workers do not want to return to the office. According to a global study released today by the Future Forum, 76% of employees want flexibility where they work.(3) Not only do employers have to guarantee a safe and healthy environment but they also have to provide an experience that people want to return to. Much like how retail shops provide a different experience for a similar end result of buying goods, buildings are not just places to meet an end but to have an experience. Technology that makes entry into and movement through a space seamless and predictable is no longer a nice to have, but a must for buildings that want to be appealing and occupied. Moreover, healthy buildings can be accredited with world-renowned certifications such as WELL and RESET which indicate support for human health. 

Another way to use digital differentiation is through investing in sustainability. The inclusion of the built environment day at COP26 this year was proof that buildings are on the radar for their part in harming the climate.  While buildings are responsible for more than 40% of global energy consumption and 36% of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the construction industry is lagging behind when it comes to digitalization. This can be attributed in part to its inherent complexity, but also to a lack of understanding of its potential benefits, which could be substantial. Some countries made building systems upgrade mandatory such as France with the ELAN law, which requires commercial buildings to decrease their energy consumption. The German KfW program for residential and non-residential buildings also imposes similar requirements to hit the energy efficiency targets.  With this in mind, it can only be beneficial to both our planet and the building’s value to commit to sustainable solutions. 

 

  1. Invest Smartly

According to the European Commission report on Macroeconomic and Other Benefits of Energy Efficiency, a smart, higher-performing building can conservatively add as much as 11.8% in lease value and can ultimately yield 5% to 35% higher sales values. Commercial buildings that fail to keep pace with digital transformation run the risk of becoming obsolete.

The smart building market is booming and immense growth is expected in the upcoming years. The global smart building market is projected to grow from $80.62 billion in 2022 to $328.62 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 22.2% in the forecast period, 2022-2029. 

But how can you make this conversion financially sustainable? Using smart technology results in energy savings which in turn will allow for considerable cost savings.  With more money available, it’s easier to make that new investment in technology and infrastructure that will give you an edge over the competition — something that may not be possible if you are struggling with cash flow due to skyrocketing energy costs.

A growth mindset for buildings means investing in innovation and technology that will help us create healthy and sustainable environments. It means future-proofing your facility and choosing buildings that are adaptable especially with current challenges like urbanization or the pandemic or climate change. An adaptive smart building benefits business, our planet,  and our well-being.  

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