What people ‘really really want’ from building tech?

8 November 2023

I saw this diagram on a LinkedIn post from the folks at PropTech consultants Trustek today. Katie Whip who heads up Innovation, Strategy & ESG there participated in the first Simmtronic Summer Series of events I helped curate and moderate earlier this year, so I knew about their Verified Marketplace of solutions.

That seems to be along similar lines as others, albeit with a twist, e.g. WiredScore Accredited Solutions, Smart Buildings Collective Solution Certification and Nexus Labs BuyersHub (I think). Maybe there’s a need for an evaluation of those schemes/guides, not least being their value propositions, i.e. the real problem they help both vendors and of course the demand side solve.

But I digress because what I liked about this diagram is the way it buckets the tech needs and wants of different stakeholder groups, and around who wants what and why:

  • landlord
  • building operator
  • occupier

It is not a comprehensive framework, but more of a teaser for other related content and to promote their offerings, e.g. their building audits and verified solutions mentioned above. Nonetheless, it’s another diagram to bookmark as part of a wider project I am trying to prompt (see more on this here), and not least because they made me chuckle with the following:

An occupier may want an app that, among other things, allows them to order lunch for the 12noon meeting. (But I am quite sure there are a few other apps that may manage food delivery better than the building can)

It’s interesting to see technology solutions for an occupier being framed around an app and particularly given the post-pandemic trend towards mixed use, i.e. because what a retailer or residential user may want from building technology is likely to be different from those running an office and also those working in it.

When it comes to the workplace and tenant experience apps, I am fascinated by HqO‘s acquisition of employee experience research specialists Leesman last year, and particularly with if and how that research feeds into the evolution of functionality of the HqO app, i.e. what it does for whom and why. That’s something I hope to explore more.

In the meantime, you can read the full article on Trustek’s user-centric take on ‘What is a Smart Building?’ here.

  1. I like your comments, it’s a fresh look at how to define a Smart Building. Today I read in BE News that to make an office successful it needs to be located close to a mixed use development and I assume that will add the engagement element these building apps need.

    However, when it comes to ‘smart’, many property managers could benefit from better practices. Smart working will offer efficient management, more than a sensor could ever!

    1. Thanks for the comment Howard. The first on my newly rebooted blog. From what I understand from a round table I facilitated with developer/owner/operators, mixed used is the way most developments are now going. And as virtue of necessity. I also agree that smart practices and process seem to be also key, not just platforms and supporting tech. In fact, at the same round table it was surprising to hear how much technology fails and that being in part about a skills gap. That’s a management issue.

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