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Digitally-enabled Real-estate

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Driven by growth of retail sector, commercial segment and the IT establishments, the building automation systems are quickly becoming more accessible and affordable. Buildotech gets an insight in the current technology landscape and trends.

To address the competition in real estate market, developers are now distinguishing their properties through added value of IT services and applications whether for security, comfort or entert a inment. According to industry, going forward, technology will be integral to development activity as there will be a higher demand for sustainability-enabled intelligent buildings. Corroborating the fact, Vijay Gupta, CMD, Orris Infrastructures adds, “Automation systems are being adopted by leading developers as it increases operational effectiveness and the overall appeal of any commercia and retail building project. The best practice is to design building automation and management at the very beginning of the project, because they require proper framework for identifying and classifying the key parameters. If the building automation is optimized and implemented in the early stage of the building construction, it is expected to increase a building’s overall appeal and value as a result of improvement to its performance.”


The building automation technology extending beyond energy reduction, is becoming comfort technology, changing the way we work and live.

Presenting another view, Gaurav Shah, Director Sales & Marketing, Ravi Group said, “Only a minute percentile of the commercial building stock has automation, most of which are typically large complexes. The rest of the building stock uses rudimentary controls, mostly manual with limited scheduling capability, no monitoring or failure management. Therefore, most of these buildings are operated inefficiently and waste energy. The key inhibitor to automation adoption is the high initial investment required for well-integrated smart technologies. One of the significant roadblocks remains the perception of value versus the cost issue, which is significantly affecting the adoption rates.”

Commercial & Retail

In an office and institutional real estate, building automation solutions are being installed by the developers not only for the sake of energy efficiency, but also to reduce risk, improve operational performance, and enable better capital planning. As per Jones Lang LaSalle, to be considered an intelligent system, automation should be able to: monitor performance, detect inefficiencies, diagnose possible causes, make automatic adjustments; alert facilities management staff to issues that can be automatically corrected and suggest possible tools and parts that may help get the job done quickly. The fundamental elements of smart building technology are:

• Wireless meters and sensors
• Internet and cloud computing
• Open data communication protocols
• Powerful analytics software.
• Remote centralized control
• Integrated work – order management

In a retail establishment like malls, intelligent converged environments achieved by converging information, communication and building technologies can offer benefits to the developer such as:

• Optimum space utilization
• Enhanced experiences to attract tenants and customers alike
• Novel revenue opportunities through new technology based service offering
• Efficient building environment to drive opportunities for growth

Christopher Gomes, Chief Architect, Adhiraj Constructions elaborates, “The automated systems improve efficiency for everyone involved and it is important that at the project concept stage itself, the wish list of the developer, the budget and the end-users needs are incorporated. In the design stage of the project / building, the following automation systems should be factored in to avoid rework and loss of time .e.g. conducting, specifications, space and cost provisions. Some of the systems that can help in reducing running cost to the members at a nominal upfront capital cost are:

  • Entrance to the property: CCTV, Access control for vehicles using boom barrier with RFID cards and energy saving sensor lights along the roads
  • Common areas within the Building: Motion sensors for passage lights, fire and smoke detection, automated water level activators for water pumps, CCTV within lifts and passages and use of BMS for common area management.
  • Within the Unit: gas leak detectors, glass break alarms, motion sensor faucets, Video door phone for access control from lobby , access control lifts and at the high end automated remote control A/C, washing machine, CCTV blinds, curtains etc.”

Jitendra Singh, GM – MEP, Rustomjee Group explains, “The convenience to end users and energy efficiency provided by automation systems is the reason why many developers are incorporating it into their projects. There is a major shift towards Fiber to the home (FTTH) technology which enables the fastest transfer of signal while operating automation via wireless or wired services. Most of the automation technologies are now moving to wireless systems and FTTH is compatible with it to provide optimal speed of operations. Other advancements are IP based systems for CCTV camera and access to buildings, which were earlier wire based. The fire detection and alarm systems are also moving to ‘addressable systems’ now wherein sensors can talk to users and systems through the internet anywhere in the world. As a result, one can pin point the area of trouble rather than blindly looking for the reason behind the alarm going off.”

More cities are developing with a “smart city” vision in mind. As a result, there will be growth in the demand for smart buildings and the demand for building management solutions will witness a sharp increase.

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