Smart Building Software

Intelligent buildings are connected by technology. It shares information across systems in order to optimise performance, from heating and ventilation systems adapted automatically based on occupancy levels through to optimised lighting and building security.

Smart buildings are able to reduce energy consumption, realising significant cost savings and are able to provide a much more user-friendly experience, adapting automatically to the needs of the building users. This is achievable through the implementation of smart building software, sensors (hardware placed around the building) and a network connection. This is often referred to as the Internet of Things or IoT. Smart building sensors share data with software to trigger actions based on touch, temperature, proximity, humidity levels, water levels and so on.

It’s no surprise that leading providers are now incorporating technology through the use of smart building software such as tenant experience applications to ensure they can offer a premium experience and utilise their building more efficiently.

Benefits of smart building software

Comfort for the users

Smart building software can make our lives easier, comfortable and more efficient – removing friction in our day-to-day. From the automation of laborious tasks for facility managers to the digitisation of meeting room booking and invoicing for tenants.

A recent survey by CBRE highlights how fundamental technology has become in tenant satisfaction – technology was ranked as one of the most important ways to attract and retain office tenants. The report stated: “There is no doubt that technology is the way forward. Business-to-Business (B2B) applications (apps) make communication between property management and tenants in the office sector much easier and quicker.”

This highlights the value that technology has for tenants in solving their everyday pain points.

Three young professionals working in a shared environment and using the latest smart building software.

Greater energy efficiency

Gas, electric, water and waste can all be tracked and reduced through intelligent building solutions. With buildings being accountable for 40% of all energy consumption and 70% of all electricity consumption, it’s hugely advantageous to reduce building emissions, to save not only on costs but to improve the building’s environmental footprint.

Buildings could even be at a commercial advantage if they get classified as a ‘certified green building’. In a recent study on the rental effects of green building features, the research found that it was possible to charge “significant rental premiums for features such as access to natural light, efficient HVAC, water conservation, public transit, an electric car charging station, and access to services even with the presence of green labels.”

BREEAM offer this type of certification by assessing the building’s environmental, social and economic sustainability performance.

Operational efficiency

Building management and maintenance can be optimised through smart building software. A building automation system (BAS) controls and monitors all of the buildings electrical and operational equipment including lighting, HVAC, gas, fire and security. Through this one platform approach, data can be collected and reported meaning that energy management can be optimised. BAS can make real-time solutions and even predict future behaviour and plan energy management accordingly.

Cost savings

Leading on from the previous points, a smart building can make considerable cost savings through reduced energy consumption and automated tasks. Cost-savings can also be realised through tenant retention. Happier tenants stay longer, and the building remains at a higher occupancy rate. In fact, even a profit can be made. A report discussing M&G Real Estate showed that the company’s green assets powered by smart technology achieved a higher rental income compared to the rest of its portfolio.

Smart Building App

Smart building apps are now being considered by many commercial real estate owners to add additional value to the building users. A workplace or building app combines all of the benefits mentioned above by connecting amenities and services, providing community engagement through events, articles and connecting users and offers app usage insights to truly understand the user. Additionally, through the ability to integrate with third-party software, its even possible to connect smart building technologies such as smart building access or optimised HVAC controls.

Benefits of a smart building platform

Reduce friction

With a smart building app, you can reduce friction and inefficiencies in your building by connecting amenities & services and digitising lengthy manual processes. Reduce the need for queuing at reception or endless email chains by giving tenants the ability to book and pay for meeting rooms and services in a few clicks. Save time on administrative tasks, and take the headache away for staff and tenants.

Improve sense of community

You can build on the sense of community with a smart building app. Allow tenants to view and book community events, keep them in the loop about relevant news, and provide a platform where companies and individuals can connect. Large corporations are also looking towards this type of software to engage and retain employees through corporate wellness apps.

Understand your building users

A smart building platform gives you access to analytics, providing insights into tenants’ usage of the app. You can iterate your strategy based on data-led decisions rather than hunches, saving time and money.

Increase asset value

A smart building app allows you to reduce friction, streamline and digitise manual processes, unlock revenue opportunities and build a sense of community that tenants love. Tenants are more likely to pay a premium for a building that includes smart building solutions that make their day more comfortable and efficient. Reducing tenant churn and increasing occupancy rates will ultimately lead to a higher asset sale potential.

Smart building applications integrated with third-party

A smart building app provides a one platform approach to connect all of the intelligent features required. Connect your building with smart sensors such as occupancy monitoring, temperature monitoring, energy monitoring and building monitoring. You could even integrate with mobile access control solutions providing a digital key for users at their fingertips.