Conserve Capital: Repurpose Heritage & Signature Assets as Sustainable, Smart Buildings

Listening to the Leaders – Total Facilities 2018, Melbourne

Look about you. Over 30% commercial CBD buildings are either subject to Heritage restrictions or pre-date today's building code by 50 years. Luminous Technology enables owners and managers of signature assets to conserve capital, extending  life cycle value and increasing appeal to a new generation of building users.

At Total Facilities 2018, an expert panel of Chris Sutherland, Ashish Kulkarni, Mark McQuilten and Greg Rostron looked specifically at the challenges faced by existing buildings and opportunities focussed on smart technology.

While new buildings are designed with technology in mind, we discussed how existing buildings including signature public works, schools, hospitals and community facilities can be repurposed in the 21st century through smart building upgrades.

Smart buildings enhance connectivity and communication and herein lies the hurdle. Existing buildings often lack the communication infrastructure as equipment is often distributed throughout the building. As the saying goes “where there is a will, there is a way” and our experience has been that every building offers opportunities to provide that connectivity. This can be in the form of unused telephone cables or by installing modern Wi-Fi or mobile technologies.

Before anyone implements a new technology, they will want to think about what issues their building has and what is on their functionality “wish list”. Old buildings often suffer from equipment failures and smart technology can assist here. Firstly, in automatically notifying maintenance contractors and occupants. Then over time by collecting information about those faults, which allows you to better manage contractors and also flows into decisions on repair or replace.

Smart building technology is about communication. It can be used in the event of an emergency to relay instructions to occupants inside or even outside the building. As it is accessible by an authorised person from practically anywhere, it can respond much faster and with more detail than a traditional EWIS system.

A recurring question, in various forms, over the two day expo was “by how much does the value of my building increase with the implementation of smart technology?” An interesting thought when planning the budget and project returns from spending on smart building technology in your portfolio.

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