Feb 03, 2018 in Viewpoint

The trends of 2018

2018. That was a good one. Our new years resolution is thereby off course: keep doing what we’re doing! So we kick of with our tradition ‘Trend Blog in January” and take a peek into the future of the smart building playing field. These are the most important trends and focus-points in 2018 according to the Mapiq team.

Anne Wernand
by Anne Wernand
Trend report
Trend report 2018.

Well-being is vital

Creating healthy workplaces is the next step in the evolution of office building sustainability. “Health is a key component to real estate for the long-term. Healthy workplace requires a building to meet certain performance standards, and certification is based on testing.

The healthy workplace movement got a boost a few years ago when the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) partnered with the International Well Building Institute (IWBI) to streamline certification processes and minimize paperwork to achieve both Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the WELL certifications simultaneously. The rapid expansion of WELL worldwide underscores the fact that building and business developers, owners, and operators are taking notice of the need to harness the built environment as a tool to promote human health and wellness,” seeing increasing interest from core and shell building developers looking to achieve WELL certification, as well from tenants looking for buildings that facilitate a healthy fit-out.

For us, Well-being is one of our focuspoints in the development of our product. We have an graduate student who is graduation on this topic and found some interesting results. Stay tuned.

"Technology will be able to determine the best match between a person and a workplace"

Mapiq trend report 2018

Paradox of choice. Creating the responsive office

The era of command and control is over. Organizations are searching for a new way of organizing. The workplace transforms; the organization is organically built around collaboration. This change in organizational structures generates a new time where the workplace works as a feature. Rather than creating a collection of individual, single purpose apps, we must start thinking in terms of an app ecosystem that takes real advantage of this new paradigm. Right now, the smart buildings market hurts from a fragmented ecosystem. This year it is time for change. Companies who set up a reliable ecosystem of specialist who work together to create the best projects will become the frontrunners in the smart building technology.

The basic premise of agile working is common ownership of the workplace. Agile workplaces offer employees a variety of predetermined activity areas for different types of tasks. Employees are also free to leave the office at will, and can be encouraged to work from home. It has been demonstrated several times that this sense of autonomy is good for the well-being and productivity of employees.

The effect of such autonomy, however, is not always positive. It has resulted in an increase in the number of decisions that workers have to make. They now need to actively determine which workplace will suit them best, often multiple times over the course of a day. Such increases in decision making can have detrimental effects on productivity and happiness.

People want to get to work as quickly as possible when they arrive at the office, but having to actively choose where to work can get in the way. Despite the fact that certain work environments have been proven to stimulate certain activities, requiring people to actively choose the best environment for their task every two hours is too much to ask. This is where technology can step in.Technology is able to give people a sense of control back and take away the fear of not having an available place in the office by giving people suggestions. The first step is to collect and collate data regarding variables such as workspace ratings and the factors that determine the popularity of a spot, mobility profiles, personal preferences related to personality traits and habits. Once data has been gathered, it can be used to form algorithms that can predict and determine ideal workplaces for the individual. Ultimately, technology will be able to differentiate the best match between a person and a workplace in the next five years. It then comes down to how much freedom you give people in choosing the perfect place. Do you direct them to this place, or give them curated suggestions from which to choose? This is a policy decision that should reflect a company’s strategy.

Awareness for platforms

The last years we see zo many different apps pop-up who all focus on different themes within a building. Those applications are great and most of the time very specialist in one specific feature (…, …, …). However, these apps will never be able to create an overview of the whole building. You will need a platform for that. Companies in the ecosystem are beginning to understand that combining information is key to the success of their product and services. However, these companies still need the technical systems in place to bring together all the crucial information.2018 will be the year that the awareness for the benefits of these platforms, which take a bit longer to implement will outrun the specific, point solutions in the long run.

Sophisticated technology platforms offer the possibility to integrate previously disparate systems, providing advanced knowledge sharing capabilities. A software platform is a set of subsystems and interfaces that form a common infrastructure. This forms the basis on which a set of related products are developed. A smart building platform can be used to connect all functionalities of a building to a central network, rendering functional data as an output. Applications are at the forefront of this new, personalized work experience provided by the platform.

The applications in an ecosystem can fully serve the demands of an entire business, not just single departments. They are mostly cloud-based, sold as a service (SaaS) and designed to take advantage of the promises of cloud computing:

  • Implementation times are much shorter, as no additional hardware or software installation is required.

  • Enables quicker, faster upgrades.All customers are upgraded at once, since it is a single instance.

  • Seamless, dynamic expansion of computing resources to scale with usage and/or users.

This way, a building will have one platform which includes every feature and not ten different apps. Lot’s of possibilities for collaboration!

New role for the architects

The last years we established good relationships with several architects and we see a changing role for the designers of our buildings. It might seem as though the role of an Architect is pretty straightforward, but the role of the Architect is actually more complex than it might first appear, having changed throughout the ages into something quite different and removed from the initial job description. They are looking for ways to integrate technology, design and construction. Some architects even understand that when you want to create spaces that are able to change within time, you need we be involved, even after the building is finished.

Workplace consultants and architects design the layout of a workplace based on a company’s profile, which in turn is based on employee activities. Insights about the different working activities of the workforce is gained through manual measurement methods. Technology can change this. It is not uncommon for facility managers to use data to contradict or dismiss the observations of employees. However, the perception of the employee is a vital piece of data that facility managers should incorporate in the feedback loop to make crucial adjustments within the building. A few years ago, a business would have gathered information, run analytics, and unearthed information that could be used for future decisions about the layout of the floorplan, whereas today that business can identify insights for immediate action.

Advanced information technology has expanded the volume, velocity, and variety of data that can be collected. So-called big data analytics are extremely fast and efficient. A building employs advanced automation technologies and systems integration to measure occupancy to optimize floorplans. A rating score of each workplace could be included to further extend the information and predict individual workstation occupancy. At some point, technology will be able to give a signal when a new meeting room needs to be added to the floorplan based on occupancy number of the existing rooms Technology can also be beneficial to also monitor and control building operations and maintenance. In most buildings today, systems such as lighting, HVAC, fire, security and on-site renewable power generation operate in isolation. This makes it difficult for building users to understand energy performance and make decisions to optimise energy or space use in real time.

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