By Gary Tasman

A decade ago, it was hard to imagine the concept of a smart building or how it would transform the commercial real estate landscape. Today, smart building technology and flexible workspaces are one of the top priorities for commercial spaces. Some advantages of using a smart building for your commercial property include:

  • Reduced costs related to maintenance and energy consumption
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced amount of emissions
  • Increased resale value

What is a Smart Building?

A smart building is any building that uses the Internet of Things (IoT) to automatically control things like heating, power, ventilation, air conditioning, security, lighting and other systems. This means the building can be managed from anywhere and at any time. Smart buildings give us more data than ever before, which allows decisions to be made with more clarity, better allocation of resources and increased savings in the long run. In time, all commercial buildings may become smart buildings.

What is the Internet of Things?

Smart technology is possible in part because of the IoT or everything connected to the internet. Think of objects and devices that “talk” to each other such as smartphones, computers, and watches. By combining these connected devices with automated systems, the building can gather information, analyze it and use it to make informed decisions from saving on energy costs to completing tasks for staff.

An Office vs a Smart Building

Smart buildings can give you an experience that general commercial buildings cannot.  The everyday building can’t collect data from user devices, systems, services and sensors the way a smart building can. This data not only makes the building programmable and customizable, but also more responsive to the needs of the building manager and employees.

This technology is transforming how Facilities Managers approach asset management. With this data at their fingertips, they can ensure the comfort of its occupants, increase utilization and interact with staff at a higher level. Imagine an office building coming to life when you walk in!

As developers nationwide face supply chain disruptions, rising interest rates and increased inflation, developers in the Southwest Florida market show little cause for concern. Population growth continues to climb and more companies are moving to the area, which also helps drive revenue. This gives developers a fantastic opportunity to capitalize on the smart building trend and create value with their property.

Why Companies Should Invest in Smart Buildings

One of the most enticing things about smart buildings is that when you compare them to conventional buildings, they perform much better. Although they cost more upfront, they bring in more rent in the long run.

Smart building technology can cover more than heating and air conditioning and lighting systems. What makes this technology so appealing is that it can integrate into just about every system. For example, in retail, smart building technology can apply to things like security cameras and point-of-sale (POS) systems.

Some local smart building examples include:

  • Arthrex
  • NeoGeonomics
  • Franz EyeCare

“It’s exciting to see businesses in our community shift into smart buildings and experience all of the benefits,” said CEO and Principal Broker, Gary Tasman. “As more businesses adopt this trend and more companies relocate to Southwest Florida, we could quickly see the commercial property landscape in our region shift toward this incredibly beneficial technology.”

How Smart Buildings Make the Office More Efficient 

It’s no secret that the office is forever changed in a post-pandemic world. When more people and businesses wish to move to a city like Fort Myers, city planners and commercial real estate developers must consider making the office environment more appealing than working from home. They have to figure out what the office environment now means for their company and what kind of employees they wish to attract.

An economy that’s poised to keep on improving paired with strong office-using employment growth is making more companies seek out new types of office space. In fact, global Experience per Square Foot™ (XSF) data shows that employees with choice and control over where they work perform better. Employees are looking for companies that make the job and office an experience, not just a cubicle to go to every day. If you haven’t thought about moving back to the office or a hybrid work environment, it’s only a matter of time.

For more information about smart building technology and commercial development opportunities around Southwest Florida, reach out to the Commercial Property Experts at Cushman & Wakefield | Commercial Property Southwest Florida at 239-489-3600 or by completing the form below.

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