The Smart Building: the intelligent building at the service of its occupants

18 January 2019
With over a hundred office buildings leased in Belgium and Luxembourg, Befimmo aims to offer modern, high-quality and sustainable workspaces to its tenants, whose habits and needs continue to evolve day by day.

The evolution of the world of work is now a fact, as is the increased digitisation of our society. Just consider the emergence of the Internet of Things, which allows things, places, or physical environments to be connected to the World Wide Web.

“In this context of digitisation, and with the desire to offer the best workspaces possible, not only in terms of quality, comfort, and energy efficiency, but also in terms of user experience, we wanted to undertake a real consideration of our buildings, genuine living spaces for thousands of workers,” explains Emilie Delacroix, Head of CSR & Innovation at Befimmo.

After an initial internal discussion process, Befimmo wishes to open up the discussion to its partners and contacts in order to answer the following question: how can the Smart Building improve the world of work, and the user experience in particular?  

Befimmo first of all brought several external stakeholders, such as experts and existing/future partners, together around the table in the form of workshops to better understand the advantages that a connected office building could have for the tenants and service providers as well as for the owner itself.

“It must be noted that the technological advances of recent years can be a genuine asset in the management of an office building. Consider, for example, dynamic and computerised management of car parks, allowing better use to be made of the availability of spaces depending on supply and demand,” explains Gilles Vanvolsem,  consultant at Befimmo.

Thus the possibilities are numerous, but so are the challenges, in particular the ethical and environmental issues and the adverse effects of hyperconnectivity on health.

The next step? Meeting with the tenants to better determine their real needs and expectations as well as their concerns.

This discussion, which is intended to be comprehensive and innovative, should lead to the establishment of an action plan for future years.

“We will work step by step, testing some solutions with our tenants to evaluate their actual added value. Tests have already taken place in the buildings with the aim of optimising management of car parks, management of heating, or even access to the technical datasheets of some facilities.” concludes Emilie Delacroix.

So, to be continued...!