Offices of the future – looking towards self-sufficiency What will future offices look like?

Proptech, created by combining two terms – “property” and “technology”, considers both the technological and mentality change of the real estate industry and responds to a new generation needs of consumers and the challenges facing humanity today. Such demands and challenges are related to a deepening environmental crisis and service level quality improvement.

New trends are providing solutions to two most urgent needs. The first relates to implementing ”Sustainability”, a programme of CSR initiatives and best practices which are gradually being adopted by industries across the board. Proptech possess the willingness to implement such solutions and technologies in line with global objectives established by the UN and those related to environmental protection and promotion of sustainable development and aimed at mitigating harmful human activity on the ecosystem.

The second group of trends are the needs of consumers or, in the case of offices, employees who expect digital solutions to make their work easier. Proptech provide comfortable and healthy conditions in which to realise these expectations.

Trends for sustainable development
According to research conducted by CBRE1 on trends in the real estate sector, Building Management Systems (BMS) which affect energy efficiency of office buildings are already regarded as standard equipment. What now should be considered as a new direction? The next step is to use an Energy Management System (EMS) as an augmentation to BMS to control and optimize energy installation operations which, in addition to intelligent lighting systems based on motion sensors, achieve optimum energgery efficiency. A trend that will certainly gain popularity in the coming years is the development of renewable energy technologies. Buildings will become more and more energy independent thanks to solar panel installations and wind turbines on roofs, for example. Certainly, the intelligent facades installation in office buildings allowing for free and convenient use of natural solar energy should be considered a strong and developing trend. In addition to sensors for lighting control, environmental sensors are becoming increasingly popular allowing, among other factors, air humidity and temperature to be monitored and even the degree to which surfaces are utilised by measuring movement.

Trends for tenants and employees
Applications enabling tenants to manage their properties in a multidimensional way are gaining popularity. Such apps can be used to book conference rooms, parking spaces, integrate office space management systems, control access to the building or even order meals from external suppliers. Intelligent programs are also available which, by managing evacuation and modelling various types of threat scenarios, significantly improve the safety of employees. Access control systems based on access via smartphones or QR codes are also becoming more popular.

Employees are increasingly using these apps and will benefit from the opportunity to tailor their working environment to their needs. By personalising their settings, employees will adjust the light intensity and power to the time of day or even the activity in question as well as the supply of natural light to the room (by controlling roller shutters) and air temperature.

Technological progress and the “fourth industrial revolution” are bringing many benefits to the property market. They allow a more conscious choice of digital technologies to meet both human and environmental needs. These dynamic trends are the proof of this.

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