Real estate developers in Qatar must make use of the innovations that digital technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) provide, and stay up to date with the new requirements and demands of property users while tackling energy management needs, writes Mohammed Hammoudi – general manager, Cisco Qatar.
In the real estate market, owners are bringing value to tenants and providing enhanced visitor and occupant experiences with the rising use of digital technologies and by embracing the Internet of Things (IoT). They provide an ecosystem wherein large volumes of data collected and analysed, especially in buildings, helps create environments that are more personalised, efficient, functional and profitable.
In a digital world, buildings are becoming more connected and increasingly intelligent with software platforms that allow the convergence of systems to enhance productivity, prepare for greater physical and cyber security, and reduce carbon footprint through data analytics.
With an explosion in the mobile workforce as well as consumers, digital transformation will be necessary in the real estate sector and will play a crucial role in the way they work, shop and live. For offices, it will enable employees to work anywhere, anytime, and will determine how they are more connected, in addition to facilitating greater collaboration and raising productivity.
The use of digital technology in retail environments increases the value to tenants, which helps boost their revenue streams and generates higher levels of operating efficiencies. Consumers on the other hand gain tremendously from smart technology, including better climate control, digital signage, internet access, voice and video services, security, and online shopping, etcetera.
Within Qatar, one of the most striking examples of the use of ‘smart’ initiatives is the Lusail City project.
Within Qatar, one of the most striking examples of the use of ‘smart’ initiatives is the Lusail City project, which includes islands and multipurpose residential, mixed-use, entertainment and commercial districts, that will deliver efficient and sustainable services through an integrated ICT infrastructure.
The PwC-sponsored report titled Global Construction 2030: A Global Forecast for the Construction Industry to 2030 reveals that global construction will grow by 85 percent to USD15.5 trillion (QAR56.4 trillion) by 2030, with commercial and institutional buildings accounting for approximately one-third of the spend. It is estimated that commercial and institutional buildings account for about 25 percent of total energy consumption with over 30 percent of this energy taken up by heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, and 25 percent by lighting. Currently, almost one-third wastage of this energy is due to obsolete systems, inefficient design and wasted resources.
Across the globe, there are rising energy costs, drastic environment apprehensions, and more governments laying down laws to curb environmental disaster. New technologies are available to help in measuring, reporting and reducing the power consumption of the network infrastructure and attached devices, and help in achieving lower energy costs and better sustainability.
The network forms the foundation for an intelligent building infrastructure that adds value to every kind of real estate project. By combining different networks such as light, air, physical security, waste management, among others, on the IP network, it is possible to manage buildings more efficiently and provide comfort for the occupants.
For instance, in an integrated energy management system, building managers can switch off or reduce unneeded systems. Centralised monitoring of HVAC, facilities and elevators can ensure that the building can exceed performance standards.
Another example entails cost savings. The convergence of applications and solutions onto a single IP network reduces capital investment and ongoing maintenance and operational costs. This can be done by migrating existing investments into an open, inclusive platform which enables monitoring and controlling building systems to operate seamlessly as one homogenous resource.
Building owners can add revenue-generating services by providing video conferencing, digital signage, and WiFi that help in raising the value of the property. This is once again made possible through the converged network.