Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.
and what lies ahead for sustainability in real estate
Australia has been burning for more than five months while the world has watched, horrified and scrambling to help. Fortunately, a recent bout of rain
aided exhausted firefighters, with the downpour dousing no less than
thirty fires in the last week, some of which have burned continuously
for six months.
Climate change is a global challenge, however, with an urgency not witnessed since the world wars. It will take a global effort to address and reverse the impact of this climate emergency. Because nearly 40% of total carbon emissions are produced by buildings, I’ve long held the belief that the greatest opportunity to fight climate change lies in real estate. Not coincidentally, real estate is also one of the last industries to go digital, meaning that the potential for building performance optimization using emerging smart building tech is huge.
We’re seeing that at
least 6% of worldwide carbon emissions can be eliminated through
building performance optimization with no impact on tenant comfort
The new generation of smart building tech offers new and exciting approaches to continuous commissioning, meaning that building performance can be more carefully scrutinized and maintained, preventing the performance drift that all buildings experience sooner or later. Fault Detection & Diagnostics (FDD) has also been revolutionized by IoT, creating opportunities for predictive maintenance that prevents the breakdown of expensive systems and the truck rolls required to fix them.
One of the least helpful beliefs of our time is the perception that profits and progress are mutually exclusive. I know that money talks – why invest in cutting-edge smart building tech just for a PR win and some industry kudos? Given that building performance optimization creates 10 - 20% in average annual savings for our customers and vastly reduces carbon footprint, the reality is that creating a greener portfolio only adds value through reduced operating costs, increased asset value and brand recognition. With sustainability tech in CRE tending to pay for itself and then some, it’s time we start seeing sustainability and value growth as two sides to the same essential coin.
personally foresee the emergence of a new global economy – a clean,
green financial system where sustainability is regarded alongside, and
a means to, economic growth. JP Morgan and Blackrock
exemplify this trend, both of which now offer sustainability-focused
investment options—free from fossil fuel investment. I was also
delighted to hear that Microsoft pledged to achieve a state of carbon negativity by 2030 – an example I expect will be replicated by other pioneering organizations in the near future.
Wall’s Brendan Wallace captures it best: “it is imperative that the
entire real estate sector accepts responsibility for being the single
biggest contributor to the climate change crisis. This is one of the
most important fights of our generation. Australia is on fire, Brazil
was on fire, and people are dying. If this is not your number one
priority as a real estate owner, you have got your priorities
Let’s do this, real estate. Now.
About the Author
Deb Noller brings more than 20 years’ experience in technology, sustainability and commercial real estate to her role as CEO of Switch Automation. She helps large enterprises apply technology for more efficient business operations, resulting in millions of dollars in cost savings for Fortune 100 companies. Deb loves cycling, strong coffee and mentoring young women in the tech industry.
Automation is a global real estate software company that helps property
owners and facility managers reduce operating costs, improve energy
efficiency and deliver exceptional occupant satisfaction. Our
comprehensive smart building platform integrates with traditional
building systems as well as IoT technologies to analyze, automate and
control assets in real-time.
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