Technology heralds exciting future for commercial building management

September 18, 2018

New technology has the potential to drastically improve the way commercial buildings are managed, resulting in sustainability gains and an improved occupier experience.

That was one of the key themes of the Honeywell Asia-Pacific Users’ Group 2018 annual conference on the Gold Coast last month, attended by MHP property managers Kirita Sio and Sonia Adams-Richardson and senior facilities manager Gwynn Gilmour.

220 delegates – all customers of Honeywell, a global conglomerate which provides building automation systems and software – attended the conference to learn about new developments in building systems, relevant industry trends and other technological innovations in the building management sector.

Delegates were able to view and test integrated technology systems which result in reduced opex and capex costs, while reducing potential risks over the long term and providing building managers with tools to achieve better overall efficiency.

However, for technology to be used most effectively, property managers must remain proactive, relevant and flexible when it comes to the application of new technology and its effect on the work environment, especially with regard to generational changes, says Kirita.

“The impact of millennials on the workplace environment is far-reaching – their need for immediacy of information, working at a rapid pace, remaining inspired and having the flexibility to work anywhere are some of the challenges raised. As property managers and building occupiers, it is vital that we stay abreast of these changes to occupier demands within work environments.”

The MHP team also attended talks and workshops on how technology can facilitate a change from more traditional building maintenance methodologies, which operated on a more reactive basis, to modern, integrated systems which minimise risk and downtime, while increasing the overall productivity of both buildings and their occupants.

Making existing building stock ‘smarter’ through the use of technology can keep buildings relevant and competitive, says Gwynn.

“There were some interesting themes discussed around how effective building management can assist in tenant retention in older buildings, particularly around sustainability improvements and providing a better working environment. However, buy-in from both tenant and landlord is required to achieve this.”

Following the conference, MHP has been working with Honeywell to investigate how energy efficiency and sustainability can be improved in several buildings in the company’s management portfolio, Gwynn says.