Sustainable development changes our thinking about buildings
I can see two main trends. The first, in an era when data is everything, will be greater efficiency in generating and collating the data for a building or office, thus leading to better use of the existing knowledge within an organisation. Integrated operating systems, such as Connected by Skanska, will become a must-have in the near future. Our clients know that collecting and analysing real-time information will help in adapting the building’s features to the needs and requirements of its users, enhancing their satisfaction levels and user-experience, and thus increasing the overall value of the property.
But in the real estate sector we can’t even consider implementing new systems without having strong partners. That’s why in February, Microsoft and Skanska’s Polish division signed a strategic cooperation agreement that sets up a knowledge exchange for working on breakthrough innovations for the office building sector. The first few months of cooperation have resulted in the development of a Microsoft Azure-based system that uses the opportunities opened up to us by mixed reality. Thanks to this, it’s now possible to use image, sound, and interpersonal interaction while wearing HoloLens glasses to enable you take a virtual stroll through Skanska’s projects. This is especially important for potential tenants, as they can see the office building from all angles, familiarise themselves with its architectural layout and access the most important information about the space, such as the availability of bus or tram stops, services and restaurants.
The other main area of technological development is being driven the increasing awareness of sustainability in the real estate sector. Skanska has, for many years, been focused on developing the highest standard of projects while at the same time appreciating the importance of sustainability. This starts with the quality of the materials and the building systems and involves the other advanced tech we use. Our customers, both tenants and investors, understand the importance of this and now are increasingly requiring systems that reduce carbon emissions and optimise operating costs in the long-run. Technology will certainly keep on shaping the way we think about buildings and construct them. Everything that makes buildings more sustainable and more energy self-sufficient will increase in importance. That’s why we’ve started installing perovskite solar cells on Skanska’s office buildings, thanks to which we can reduce the energy costs and carbon footprint of our office developments.