The future of smart buildings will be focused on transformation in three key areas: occupant comfort, experience and the aggregate intelligence derived from data analytics in smart buildings, according to Travis Putnam co-founder and managing partner of Navitas Capital.
Putnam, who spoke to more than 800 attendees at a large gathering of startups, investors and commercial real estate professionals hosted by CREtech in Los Angeles at Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles yesterday, highlighted that these trends are of a part of a transformational shift taking place in the commercial real estate sector. As the industry moves from an asset management approach towards creating occupant driven experiences for users and guests inside of smart buildings these trends become more relevant.
Early stage Proptech investments often set the initial foundation for trends and competitive changes in the commercial real estate landscape. As owners and landlords look to invest in technology as a means of competitive differentiation and attracting higher return on their investments.
Initial research and development efforts by venture capital firms like Navitas Capital and others serve as a barometer for market demand of commercial real estate technology solutions and a glimpse into what commercial office buildings of the future will be like.
The venture capital firm has made a significant investment in the commercial real estate tech sector (proptech) through early-stage funding for startups. One such company, View, an intelligent glass system for buildings, that incorporates user preferences and adjusts shading based on users lighting preference. Another was Oakland-based Comfy, a smart building temperature control application which enables users to control heating conditions inside office buildings, which was acquired by Siemens last year.
According to Putnam creating an enhanced user experience entails transforming every aspect of how the users use commercial office and residential buildings, not just controlling interior conditions.
Navitas has made investments in numerous companies like, HqO, a tenant-based app which primarily focuses on increasing tenant retention by offering tech-enabled amenities and Matterport, a 3D and virtual reality (VR) platform.
Both are designed to elevate tenant experiences which is a core aspect of creating a new class of technological innovation aimed at changing the way tenants and occupants experience commercial real estate.
The final area for transformation will be the aggregation of data across through proptech platforms such as Cherre, which leverages artificial intelligence to resolve property data from thousands of public, private, and internal sources in real time and Aquicore is a full-service solution enabling real estate owners to automate processes.
The adoption of these technologies, however, is heavily reliant on the provision of a robust digital connectivity infrastructure which will serve as the backbone for the deployment of new technology solutions in the marketplace.
Without connectivity the prospect for proptech investment bleak.
According to John Gilbert COO of Rudin Management “ without a way to communicate, none of this stuff works.”