Mordechai Katzman: Saving $$ on your Largest Real Estate Expense


When considering your largest real estate expense, most people think of utility charges, insurance costs, H.R. fees paying for your employees administration and a slew of others. But would it surprise you if in fact property tax is your largest expense? In 2017 in the US alone over five hundred and thirty billion dollars was paid in property tax and upwards of 300 billion was paid by owners and multi-property portfolios businesses organizations.



Mordechai Katzman, President & Co-Founder, ReThink Solutions




Hi Everyone. 

My name is Mordecai Katzman and I'm the President and Co-Founder of a company called Rethink Solutions. Today I'm gonna talk to you about your largest or at least one of your largest real estate expenses that really any typical occupier owner and manager of a multi property portfolio is going to encounter.

When we talk about real estate expenses what comes to mind?

I think typically most people think of utility charges. Insurance costs you know H.R. fees paying for your employees administration and a slew of others. But would it surprise you if I told you that in fact property tax is your largest expense? In 2017 in the US alone over five hundred and thirty billion dollars was paid in property tax and three hundred billion dollars out of that or  upwards of 300 billion was paid by owners and multi property portfolios businesses organizations 

What I still find interesting is when I'm speaking to multi property owners and I ask them what they pay in property taxes, I'll still get answers that are really in the form of ranges oh anywhere from two hundred to five hundred million dollars. at least for me three hundred million dollars is still quite a significant range for one of your largest expenses. I think that's because it's tax and people look at tax a little bit differently. Frankly as soon as I mentioned property tax people's eyes typically glaze over and I think it's because no one has patients for tax or even property tax. 

They see it as a tax that simply needs to be paid and I'm here today to tell you that property tax is really unlike the other taxes. I think it would be fair if you're talking about income taxes or corporate taxes or even sales and use tax that are very fact based. You're providing the individual taxing jurisdictions information about your sales your profits your income and as a result they're taxing you. But for property taxes individual jurisdictions are telling you what the value of your property is and hence based on your value this is the tax you're going to pay. 

Property tax is different, as I mentioned it's really very subjective because you're getting values from the individual jurisdictions and I should point out that there's over 17,000 different taxing jurisdictions in the US, so when you talk about transparency and standardization it's all over the place. All the more reason that this needs to be managed and can be controlled because there is tremendous opportunities for savings. Just to stress on that point for a moment there was a study done by an international organization that measured all the various jurisdictions both in the U.S. and globally that found the average U.S. jurisdiction just got a grade from a C to a D when it came to transparency and standardization. Again tremendous tremendous opportunities here. 

I was recently talking to one of our clients the senior property tax manager for this particular portfolio and he had told me that the CFO now recognizes that they exist and that it's a good thing and a bad thing. I proceeded to ask, OK so where's this going. What's good what's bad. So firstly it's a good thing because he says now that you're such a significant line item on our balance sheet and income statements we need to be paying more attention. So whatever tools resources you need to mitigate and control this expense and cost, we're all for it whatever you need you let us know so that frankly sounds pretty good. 

So what's the bad thing. Well he said, Now the CFO knows that we exist, which means there's tremendous pressure on this department to do something about controlling this vast and wide expense property taxes are also rising and our research has shown that even when values are staying constant, meaning your values aren't going up, the taxes are still going up because those local jurisdictions, their fees aren't going down and they need to pay for their local improvements. 

Another interesting thing about property tax is that it's going to impact your organization in a number of different ways across all sorts of different departments. It would be very typical or traditional to find one or two people within a property tax department sitting somewhere in the office again which department they belong to is usually questionable as well but sitting there doing their thing managing their values managing their taxes and submitting some information to accounting but as you can see the entire property tax management process is very complex and it really touches on all sorts of different departments. 

So yes once you verified your payments you'll send it off to accounting but you've got your finance department doing their forecasts and budgets and isolation in a silo using their own data their own spreadsheets to determine what they think property tax is going to look like. You'll have acquisitions going about acquiring more properties for your portfolio. Sometimes doing their own work up or not even inquiring with property tax as to what the tax impact is going to be. And what I'm happy to see that that more recently this is now becoming a requirement. Certain companies aren't letting their acquisitions team acquire without having sort of a suggestion or a report from property tax. 

And the list goes on. It affects operations it affects your leasing in terms of setting your rents or even recovering tax from those individual portfolios. So again it affects the entire department. And today it's all done in silos. Each with their own.

That sets of data without one talking to one another so that's so we're where we come so far. So we've noticed that the property tax itself is going to be one of your largest expenses. We know that there are significant opportunities for savings there. And we know that up until now it's been fairly mismanaged as we've seen it's all done in silos all over the place. And there's a lot of data involved in the process itself. In fact from a data perspective because again you're getting data from so many individual jurisdictions. It's not uncommon for an individual property to have at least one hundred pieces of individual data on an annual basis. 

Again extrapolate this to a portfolio of two three hundred properties you're easily dealing with 30000 pieces of data every year. So that's a concern. 

So what do we do?

Well we have to rethink the way we manage your property taxes and that's frankly where we come in our solution lets you manage and optimize the entire process and bring everyone together on a common platform and what that's going to achieve and that's going to allow you to empower your users to make smarter better decisions when it comes to every aspect of your operation that that addresses or includes property tax and these aren't just buzzwords anymore. It's very important. Again all these technologies exist today and they fit quite naturally and very well within property tax the ability to collaborate with those other departments the ability to automate some of your workflow. So as soon as you get a new value forecast and Budget has that so they know exactly they can alter and adjust in real time you can integrate with other systems you can apply a eye to help you determine where the values are out of sync maybe certain values certain properties. This is what we should be looking at to appeal to further drive savings.

At the end of the day I think we're all trying to achieve the same goal. The goal is to maximize portfolio value. And what I'm here to tell you today is that rather than you know addressing the revenue side which a lot of systems and usually some of the easy pickings to be able to you know acquire better properties to make sure they're fully rented out to drive and maximize the revenue from individual locations. That's obviously a way to drive value and revenues. But another way to do it is also by looking at your expense side and being able to control the costs especially something as large as the property tax is going to have a significant impact on the bottom line value so quite a bit so far.

So just as a quick recap if there's one message I can leave you with is that don't ignore your property tax. As I said there's tremendous savings opportunities there. If they control all tax again you just need the right tools information and data available so that you can properly address it make well-informed decisions that will impact not just the tax side but all the other departments within your organization. Thank you very much. 

Karl May: Connecting People to their Work

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Enterprises have transformed how they use workplace and therefore IT for commercial buildings has changed. Legacy cybersecurity approaches no longer work. Join CEO Karl May dives into this shift and how how digital workplace infrastructure is tackling this issue.


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Karl May, CEO, Join




Good afternoon My name is Karl May. Founder and CEO of Join, Join is based in San Francisco California. We are revolutionizing the way that networks are deployed and our mission statement is listed up here on the screen is about connecting people to their work what I'm going to do today as I'm first going to tell you a little bit about what we as a company do what we as a company do. I'm going to talk primarily about how we address or but some of the risks are with regard to cyber risk not only Visa V what a lot of people can talk about here which is for building management systems but also for your tenants. Need to talk a little bit about how we address it how traditional strategies simply fail and how we address it. And then if there aren't any questions afterward I'll be happy to address them. So let me give you a little walkthrough on us. Join us founded about two and a half years ago really with the sponsorship of several large Fortune 500 companies that saw a fundamental shift in the way information technology is consumed. 

We all know that Amazon but Amazon has done the computing and frankly the storage of data. We know what Salesforce started 20 years ago and changing the way software is consumed by our. Applications are consumed. And what we're doing is the same thing really to the network. 

The idea is that we can actually deploy a network or the edge of the cloud which is where everything resides nowadays in a in a in a neat in an apex in an in an OPIC centric not CapEx fashion that is managed and that is that lives in the cloud.  And that's really what what we do 

We focus primarily on delivering services over our own network. We are not we don't we don't interact with all the other carriers we've built our own and we deliver I.T. services over that network. Now if you look at a traditional way that companies deploy these tenants or frankly even building owners deploy networks in their buildings there is a hodgepodge of vendors they have to deal with their vendors for circuits their vendors for hardware they've got to put all these things together and make them work the magic that we bring to the table now that we provide all of this as an on demand service we build our own tech stack from the hardware frankly from the optics 

On up to the software and we deliver that as an on demand service in partnership with the owners of commercial real estate assets. Now I want to shift to the main topic that I want to talk about here which is cyber security risk. And one of the big issues that we're seeing more and more and we read about more and more is the is the attacks or threats that come from third parties not just not insiders but from third parties attacking corporate networks. And those corporate networks also include by the way the networks that are operated by building owners to which they connect their building management systems their sensors and other sorts of I.T. 

devices. This is a real live it's not live but it's a real output of a scan that we did in about 80 sites around the country. This is from one particular site. This is a real output of a Wi-Fi scan of one of the name of a name brand coworking provider probably known to many of you here. This is the level while everybody thinks I'm safe because I'm I'm using a VPN or UN or I'm encrypting my data or whatnot but they don't realize that I can actually see all their devices. 

I can see your Android phone I can see you. Which Mac you have I can see your MAC address. I can get all this data into a malicious outsider. I can now install a botnet and automate or credit cron job to go stand this on a continuous basis to figure out whether vulnerabilities and the reality is is that we have in many ways been far too complacent about cybersecurity. I mean we can talk about passwords we can talk about VPN or other things but the reality reality is is that many companies are far too complacent. 

If we weren't we would not be seeing the sorts of enormous breaches in companies like Equifax and target and so forth. Our view is very simple and that is that traditional ways of addressing cyber security are simply inadequate. The reality is as a conventional networking technologies are really designed to move on. I really designed to allow for discovery. I use some technical terms they're used for discovery of what other resources are sitting on a network. And the problem is is this opens up your neighbor network. So if you're a tenant in the building the the Wi-Fi network next door could very easily become or your network could very easily become a target of your neighbors. 

And so our approach has been very very simple. We work together with the owner. We secure the entire building and all of the network connectivity into that building to our private cloud our cloud is where we have all of our own connections to the public internet to public clouds to data centers to SaaS providers. We then put in place our own cybersecurity elements at that border which is where we deflect and or or detect and then deflect threats. 

It's where we protect against intrusions and so forth. And then we provide the entire solution into the building not only for the tenant but also for the building management system. So if you look at the rise of cameras based I.T. devices we provide all of those elements their own private network that is secured by us the premise on which we do this is something called zero trust it's actually a new concept. The concept has come about in the last couple of years. It's the notion that in a world where we have mobile workers we have our work that which we work on is sitting in the cloud. We have to have traditional perimeters anymore. And so therefore we need not to trust who you are because of where you are in a building or in an office but because of who you are. And so zero trust simply says that we don't trust anybody or anything. 

We validate devices and we develop validate users independent of where they are and only those users are the ones that get access. To the network resources or the services that we deliver. And that's really the fundamental premise of what Join has built on zero trust. To summarize let me talk a little bit about our business model and then I think if there are any questions I'm happy to know some. We don't see it as most. Most providers today deliver services that are based on old models such as bandwidth and and selling bits and bandwidth and so forth. Our model is very simple. We bring terabytes of bandwidth into a site into a building we charge per user per service type. There is no hardware no hardware to assemble. 

No it's not an IKEA model where you've got to go get 8 or 10 boxes to work together. We take care of all of that. It's an on demand service. You pay for a subscription you pay for it as your organization grows or shrinks you pay more or you pay less. And we believe that fundamentally applying SaaS business model principles to the network as well as all of our cybersecurity is what is going to change the way I.T. is consumed in the offices both of today and of the future. 

And I thank you very much for your time.

Alan Ni: Smart Building Connectivity: Is 5G the Panacea?

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Filmed in partnership with Realcomm | IBcon this talk navigates the current climate of CRE connectivity - noting the vast majority of misconception around 5G connectivity and what the future may bring.



Alan Ni, Director, Smart Spaces & IoT, Aruba




Afternoon I'm Alan Ni,  I lead innovation strategy on smart spaces in I.T. at Aruba. I'm here to talk about smart connected buildings and specifically around 5G. There's been a lot of conversation about 5G at this conference and being a leading vendor in Wi-Fi Networking and the de facto way of connecting mobile devices within buildings. We obviously have a point of view here and really wanted to talk with you today to address the question. 

So in my talk I'm really going to talk about these four specific topics right. What is 5G?  at this point the marketing, it's been in beyond overdrive and you know frankly we don't know what the newspaper is going to say, so I want to talk a little bit about that. But more importantly as real estate professionals what are the use cases that we should really care about as we design buildings not only for tomorrow but for today. Then I want to talk a little bit about the technology investments that we're seeing not just in 5G but just in mobility in general. 

And then finally a lot of the new things that allow the new technologies are coming to fruition now and actually should force a lot of us to rethink the status quo, and can be disruptive. So I want to just leave you with a few parting thoughts in that area. So let's talk about 5G what is 5G. As I said you look at the mainstream press whether it's business press technology press every day there's some other form of 5G and it is funny I was at dinner yesterday and one of my colleagues said 5G is like Whatever the carrier selling this years can be 5G. 

So you know we hear about fake 5G real 5G etc. So you know if I had to summarize it I see 5G as these three things right. It's really a set of performance targets and I'll talk a little bit more about. That fundamentally at the end of the day provide faster speeds faster really shorter latency is a much better experience for all the new applications that we need to serve users, things, systems buildings. But also I think no one everyone could agree here.  

There's a lot of marketing around this. I turn to Wikipedia you're not always the authoritative source but if you look at the definition Wikipedia it’s actually written very very carefully right. 5G is generally seen as a first generation cellular technology. The industry association the industry being the Cellular Association defines it as this thing called 5G new radio. But then you look at the bottom there's this cryptic thing particularly for folks that maybe are in the technology world here. 

They talked about these requirements around the international telecom union this I.A. 2020 standard. And when I think about it I think about it from that perspective. So what is that standard? when you know every G you know whether it's first generation sector operation third generation forget about the technologies, they go in they mean say hey we want to actually hit a couple of benchmarks.  I love this diagram here. It's actually a chart despite your chart of you know all the key pieces that they were trying to achieve. 

What you see in the middle of this thing called LTE is basically fourth generation technology the stuff that we're using every day. And as you can see as they move to fifth generation technology that pie has expanded and they want it to really improve a lot of these things some of these things that you know the non technologists wouldn't know. But let me decipher for folks that are in real estate in the process of trying to build buildings. These I would argue are the orange ones are those things that we should care about if we're starting to build new Smart Connected Buildings. 

We want to obviously have greater user experiences whether that is faster speeds, shorter latency. We want to design for higher capacity within the building and we'll talk a little bit about the end points right.  Because we realize it we're starting to get to an area where as we say wireless if you can, wired you must but I'd argue the most important thing is really to make sure that we can support more use cases. And one thing I do agree with, within 5G there's a radio layer and that's a lot of where a lot of the press is.  You know where the peak speeds etc. 

But there's actually a lot of investment in what they call the core of the network to say regardless of what radio you're coming on whether it's a cellular radio whether through Wi-Fi the experience that I have as I transition and move around is consistent. 

So let's talk a little bit about the use cases. I took this picture because I love this as I see it. This is the marketing Ray and this are market 5G. You know how fast can you download every episode of The Simpsons or 500 episodes probably  4K etc. and know 5G could deliver to you in seconds or minutes right but let's think about that. That's not really a practical use case as we're starting to build buildings. These I would argue are really the use case that we need to think about, user mobility, user mobility in buildings right. 

We spend probably about 70 to 80 percent of our time within buildings. Wi-Fi as I said is the de facto way of connecting most people whether in your home in a commercial office building et cetera. We hear a lot around Das, CPRS you know those are connected just one piece which is prior phone the thing that has a SIM card but as you know many of you in the room here you're probably carrying possibly a tablet, a laptop. I would probably venture to bet that most of you probably don’t have a SIM card associated with that device. 

So that's typically been something that the tenant actually provides. There's this other thing now if you think about it is building IoT and that's the heart of what Smart Connected Buildings. It’s  no longer just the people in the building and the smart experiences but the building itself that's being connected. The vast majority of these devices are very low power, they probably won't take a SIM card.  If you talk to any vendors in these spaces, every penny matters are trying to make a sensor as cheap as possible and they're not using SIM cards or any license technology. 

In many cases they're not even using Wi-Fi. They're using other lower power sort of technologies. Fundamentally, you see a big shift right in the past connectivity was a responsibility of the tenant.  Now as you start getting into building IoT you know is it the lights maybe that's provided by the owner the operator the developer. Is it the windows? maybe that's the owner operator or developer. You’re starting to see iPads, smart furniture, that's the tenant right. So how are you going to support all these things in this new paradigm. 

Are we going to buy point solutions for every one of these products and build separate infrastructure. Or are we going to think about it from a platform perspective? Then the last piece you may not think about it from a connectivity standpoint but there's a lot of interest at this conference around experience and there's this idea of a tenant base or building base experience and in a lot of that is being driven through location and if you think about that I need an infrastructure once again to provide location. The cellular network 4G, 5G does not give me indoor G.P.S. 

So how do I do all of this. We can talk a little about the next generation Wi-Fi access point but I won't even call it the next generation Wi-Fi access point. 

This is more than Wi-Fi, It's really the next generation access point. So wanted to talk a little bit about Wi-Fi and just a lot of this stuff that I've been hearing here and there's a lot of that information I'm hearing that is categorically untrue. When they talk about Wi-Fi you know a lot of people are not aware there's actually been six generations of Wi-Fi. But we've been just collectively calling it Wi-Fi.  Maybe you've been at best buy and you had to buy the next one you may have seen BAC and now these cryptic sort of names one of the good things this year is that the Wi-Fi Alliance came around and said OK we need to make this like understandable from a consumer perspective. 

So they started to actually brand the latest version is actually something called Wi-Fi 6. You're going to hear this more so a total of an X is Wi-Fi 6. They actually went so far to even go backwards to say AC which was introduced about five years ago as Wi-Fi 5, Wi-Fi 4, et cetera. Now if I superimpose this on that chart I showed you before around 5G. This is how it lines up and you can see if we're trying to deliver that 5G experience the speed whenever within a building Wi-Fi delivers if not exceeds all those key metrics that we care about. 

Now there is one area here’s where it's more defficient than 5G and it's mobility. And I've heard a lot around people saying that Wi-Fi doesn't work it doesn't hand off etc.. And here if you looked at it would maybe crowd cooperate that but if you look at this when they talk about mobility they have that mobility moving 500 kilometers an hour. Now who moves in a building 500 kilometers an hour. Now who moves in a building at 500 kilometers an hour, I don't think any one of us does. This is really the envisioning you know I'm on that high speed train in Europe, you know, maybe browsing something and having continuity of service. 

Right. So if you think about this there's actually a lot of good senitry you know within a building. We feel that there's a lot of this real technology capability and Wi-Fi 6 delivers the promise and all the stuff that they're talking about for 5G now. Right. The latest Samsung Galaxy phones have Wi-Fi 6 baked in them now. The infrastructure and you'll see this access point that we have and a lot of our other folks in the industry we've been delivering Wi-Fi 6 access points since last year.

 And for the more technical folks here I'll be really quick, you know it's sharing many of those same technologies that 5G has. If you understand some of these things like, channel widths multiple antennas OF DNA technology, we're borrowing back and forth between cellular 5G and Wi-Fi. But really the more important thing is really the use cases right. And we're delivering them today. So this latest generation access point obviously has new technology like A X if we think about it from delivering voice one of the more interesting things is delivering voice in a building and as I said, I heard a lot of disparaging over Wi-Fi doesn't work well for a voice is too hard too hard to get people on. 

We have a very interesting technology called Pass point and we're demonstrating this downstairs, where individuals with a phone with your SIM card, the access point you're going to automatically join the access point. Right. So one of the big frictions in Wi-Fi as you walk into a venue I need to understand what the network name is, I need to go into my settings join it right and then at that point I don't even know if I have security it's prior open network. With this new technology called Pass Point which has actually been around for two years but now really coming to fruition and starting to get real carriers online. 

As I said if you have some of the major carriers answers when you walk by our booth you're just going to automatically associate to it, there's no friction. More importantly you're getting onto a secure network with secure credentials. In our view point is you know now voice which traditionally you've put a dedicated system in, right, at two dollars - two fifty cents a square foot  is now just a service that we could deliver into a building the next generation access point.  

A lot more interesting too is building IoT as I said lights, sensors you know furniture, people counter sensors, are not coming through Wi-Fi in a lot of cases, they're certainly not coming through cellular, 5G, cellular, they're coming through things like Bluetooth 5, Zigby this next generation access point is actually providing that sort of connectivity. Then you know indoor location we talked about it, this is now in the second generation same infrastructure effectively putting G.P.S. above your head in a building to allow people to navigate. 

And then finally the last piece you may have heard prior about a year or two ago, Wi-Fi hacks around Wi-Fi security standard WPA2,  WPA2 is actually over a decade old so it's like geriatric. the newest access points a new standard WPA3 that really closes a lot of those gaps are now in this specific sort of next generation access. 

So really the final thoughts now that I've shared with you a little bit in terms of the holistic development the use cases et cetera as real estate professional’s how does this disrupt how what should we be thinking about. So one is around voice services in this new building keeping people connected. Right. I think I still hear and why we're doing investments with this organization, with this group, is that up until now a one to one association is set to deliver high quality voice you have to do it through DAS or small cell etc.

Not to say that you can't deliver it right but making it exclusive, that's absolutely false. We're delivering that you're likely using Wi-Fi at home potentially for phone calls. Right. We're delivering much much greater quality of service within a building. We can deliver it to the majority of buildings where a lot of these DAS systems may cover 2 or 3 percent of all reasonable space. To this idea of IoT gateways if you actually deployed an IoT gateway to support your lighting system or something, you wanted to avoid you may not have heard of the term shadow IT, if you're doing it you are shadow I.T. 

These are actually devices we have in our building now they're just sitting on the carpet sitting plugged in then if someone just tripped over I have no idea how to manage them, where they are, you know are they a security risk or not. They're really the final piece here, and it's around you as a real estate developer even us as a vendor. Traditionally a lot of this coverage right whether it's networking coverage you kind of placed upon the tenant and the tenant in his or the organization suites you may have connectivity but now the expectation to have consistent experience throughout the entire building is a lot more social services you know club lounges whatever that a lot of developers are now putting into the next generation of buildings. 

So you as one of those developers really need to start thinking about the services that you need to deliver holistically and oftentimes in the past as an afterthought.  The only thing that had to do was deliver DAS or deliver if you could afford it and that would provide cellular services. But what about all those other IoT devices right. You would do smart parking or door locks and other things right. You need to start thinking about a much broader infrastructure play for that. Right. So we're encouraging really commercial real estate to start thinking about this not just for shared spaces but potentially for tenant spaces and for us as a vendor that's disruptive to us to. Our core client has always been and we focus really on the tenant occupier less so on the commercial real estate folks. 

So that's that's really going to wrap it up here. Thank you very much. We've actually done a lot of thought leadership this week. Feel free to reach out to our website. We've published a lot on this and we're just coming out. Thank you

Greg Fasullo: Empowering Multi-Site Owners & Operators Through Technology


By elevating the level of transparency within a portfolio of mixed assets, owners and operators can use actionable insights to improve the performance of their portfolio. WATCH to learn more.

Filmed in partnership with Realcomm | IBcon.



Greg Fasullo, CEO, ENTOUCH




Good afternoon everybody, my name is Greg Fusillo, I am the CEO of Entouch.  Entouch is a smart building automation platform currently focusing on the large number of multi side distributed facilities, portfolios are not large centralized buildings and what we view that we do is we enable the promise of smart energy technology in facilities that they are mostly left behind by smart building tech and the infrastructure. 

In particular our clients are either operators or tenants in these facilities. They could be the landlord as well. What we enable to do is connect the building take data and enables sustained reductions on energy maintenance and capital expenditure. I'll focus a little bit on energy to Star because energy is a great opportunity. You hear the speeches here. There are significant opportunities to address energy efficiency in buildings with relatively modest capital investments and process investments and very large returns.  So we all know there is about 6 million commercial buildings in the US, about 90 billion square footage. 

Those buildings use a lot of energy. I actually put this slide together 7 quadrillion BTU’s. I don't even know how many zeros you had to put on an excel spreadsheet to calculate what a quadrillion was I had to look it up. About 1.2 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity which again big number. How big is that?  the equivalency in coal fired power plants 360 coal fired power plants are required to power all the commercial buildings in the US today there are only 359 of those plants in existence. 

So essentially at buildings we're 100 percent efficient. We can eliminate all of the coal usage in the United States, a fairly audacious goal.  On top of that, if you look at EIA government estimates, a large portion of energy and buildings is actually just wasted. Wasted due to inefficiencies, its wasted due to lack of people and processes in those buildings. While we hear a lot about smart building technology, the building to connect the assets in a facility, the climate control the lighting to use database on occupancy to drive changes in behavior in the buildings and optimize energy efficiency, the rally is electricity consumption in buildings is actually going up. 

So why is that. If we've got all these great technologies if they have fantastic ROI’s why are we having issues where energy efficiency is not catching up with buildings. And the dirty secret is, most of these smart building technologies are designed for facilities teams they're designed for organizations that have people on the ground, that have people and process to drive change. They're not designed for the majority of buildings that do not have onsite facilities. 

Those organizations are distributed typically geographically they're centralized from a small corporate facilities team but they simply lack the people, the processes and the priority to focus on energy efficiency at the regional. 

Now we think of buildings we think of large buildings like the one we’re in.  Typical class A building here where there's a hotel or it's an office very large square footage, buildings with significant infrastructure, but the reality is that it's just a small portion of commercial buildings. Most commercial buildings are actually small less than 1% of buildings by building count are greater than 200,000 square feet that only represents 20,000 or 20%  of the available square footage and buildings. What are these smaller buildings?

Well their buildings and services that you know well.  They are retail stores they are restaurants they are health and fitness chains there are financial services the small facilities that are distributed geographically that have very unique pain points very unique operational priorities from a large building that has onsite facilities and can be operated in a different way with a smart building technology platform. Many of these organizations do not have the onsite facility, they've got a remote team. If it's a thousand location enterprise a health and fitness chain you do have people in corporate who are thinking about energy efficiency. They're thinking about investments in technology but locally they rely on essentially maintenance people. 

Occasionally you'll have regional tech or a facility person. But the people are thinking about energy and efficiency are not on at the buildings. In addition there is a trend to rely on outsourced services. You may have an onsite maintenance tech you probably rely on somebody that provides IFM to actually do the work in your facilities. So an organization in charge of keeping the lights on and keeping that facility running. But the line item that they touch on maintenance is a very different line item for a strategic item like energy. So they're fundamentally dis aligned with an incentive to reduce energy consumption. 

Then you rely on the manager so the P&L typically rolls up to the regional manager or the local manager the store manager, that individual to some degree, has visibility to energy inefficiency because in their P&L they have much bigger priorities running the organization dealing with staffing and the top line issues at that location. 

To put that in perspective a Navigant study multi site operators in 2016 essentially talking to folks and these people have building automation systems they've got a range of technologies roughly a quarter felt that they had a smart building technology strategy for their organization. So even though they've adopted a building automation system or a BMS or an energy management system the past their disconnected assets and they really didn't feel they had a connected smart building technology strategy. 

Sixty percent were aware of the pain point they're aware of energy they're aware of sustainability challenges they are looking to do better and operate more efficiently.  They're just now starting to evaluate what they want to purchase. And over half of them, when they're surveyed will tell you, they'd actually like to outsource this in the service. So what they're telling you is they also realize we have other priorities as we're outsourcing non core services energy management optimization of our energy footprint probably something we're not the best at and we're looking at providers that can do that for us as a service. 

That's where Entouch comes in. What do you have to do to solve this problem? Well at heart it's not a technology, it's not a hardware, it's not a systems level problem. It's a holistic software and services problem. The buildings may or may not have a connected system. You need to deploy some way of connecting and access and those are the equipment in those facilities. The buildings when they're connected you've got a commission. So if you connect the system is built you've got to know the various conference rooms you've got to know where occupants are. 

You have to know how that building is supposed to occupy. Think about doing that over a suite of outpatient health care clinics that are all different in size of different assets on the roof have different operating hours in different parts of the country. How do you deploy at very low cost very high quality has to be done with software. Now it connected that building and I've got this firehose of data and all is great information coming in. I can figure email alerts on every time there's a problem. The next thing I know is I my email box is filling up. I turn off the alerts. There's got to be a process that you can take that data coming in. You can analyze it and you can quickly enable support for the ongoing operation of the site.

It has to be integrated. So I've got a services provider I've got an IFM provider. They are the boots on the ground they've got the work order system seeing the mess that I use. Any new solution cannot be a point solution that requires additional work, to extract value it has to be integrated with the existing workflow. That's probably the most important point on this slide. Most legacy systems were independent point solutions. They were not integrated. They were not open and essentially people have deployed these systems and they're a little bit stuck. How do I extract value out of what I've already invested. 

They're very basic users has gotten very easy to use and then ultimately to effect change in these distributed facilities. You don't have a facility team that can optimize HVAC temperatures or do maintenance initiatives to try to improve the efficiency of the rooftop that the systems have to be autonomous to be able to adjust. They've got a watch. They've got a rack based on user behavior and ultimately affect the change to drive real change. 

Entouch does this through a software platform today, we've got about fifty thousand of our systems deployed in the US leading multi site operators.  We start with the ability to deploy and commission. We are a software platform so this third party tech shows up on site, he's got the Entouch app on his mobile device. You can install our platform. He can connect with existing assets and then we can remotely commission that design. Now we've got a high quality installation and we're collecting data. We're streaming it to the cloud. We start doing things with it. So we collect that data we analyze that data. We apply machine learning. We help you optimize the operation of the building autonomously. And now as a facility individual you move from having no intelligence of what's going on and having real time data and the reactive tasks that are associated data. 

We've integrated with your third party services provider and ultimately you can take this organization. You can start pulling the young in you can start feeling figuring out opportunities to optimize and continuously improve. So what we enable in organizations that traditionally were reactive there are maintenance and support they're keeping the lights on of these facilities but they don't fundamentally have the ability to optimize to transform that facility organization into one that can be strategic that could be thinking long term and frankly could be pulling levers to optimize and reduce energy in those facilities. 

So in addition to the operational benefits most of our customers are the facility organization and corporate they love the fact that now they've got an automated enterprise ultimately the business case is driven by energy because that is a large line item this year. Our average customer today saves about 13 percent on their energy bill. Not bad. It's about two hundred million kilowatt hours and over 4000 tons of carbon that we are saving today on an annual basis across our clients. And what they really like because that's equivalent to about 20 million dollars a year of economics. 

So that's Entouch. We enable and frankly we deliver on the promise of smart dollar technology and multi site organizations. Great. Thank you very much for your time. 

Joe Du Bey: The Experience Era - Sweeping Major Industries in the US


Joe Du Bey, CEO of Eden helps navigate The Experience Era and how the nature of experiences are transforming industries across the US. This talk showcases how different demographics of people value experiences and how that value is fundamentally shifting the business of entire industries. With real estate taking center stage, Du Bey brings forth examples from industries such as fitness, music, retail, coffee, enterprise offices & more.


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Joe Du Bey, CEO, Eden




Hey my name is Joe Du Bey and I'm going to talk today about the experience era and how it's affecting commercial real estate. So what is the experience era? The main thing to take away is that the world is changing. It went from before being where it was something that you know you served any one industry and maybe sold a specific product and service. Today we're all actually in the experience business to think about commercial real estate today versus what's going to happen. It's a largely offline world. And that's it's something that is focused on the space and less on the people and the experience of them.

And that's something that's about to dramatically change. So what is causing the experience era in one word millennials today. Millennials are the biggest cohort of any population. This is a really substantial shift. And this is something that is affecting the preferences of the workforce itself. And the reason why that's so is because millennials are different. They actually value experiences over products. And this is a critical thing to understand once this is grasped. It all starts to make sense.

But the majority of one else would rather spend money on an experience than a thing. They're wired differently even when it comes to work. The majority of millennials would take less money. If they're able to have a better experience at the office if they felt the experience reflected themselves. In contrast in case you don't think that's different. Only 9 percent of baby boomers would do the same. They are wired a bit differently and we need to adjust to their preferences. So what makes something fit the experience area we've discovered there are six hallmarks to this new time.

Specifically you can see involves enabling technology. It's at least made more efficient through technology. Any one of the major experiences that consumers in enterprises are going through in the experience area users are empowered they have voice they're able to customize their experience. This is critical. It shows up in amenities. It shows up in services inexperience error people care about community and they're building community around these experiences that were previously about a service or product. It's really the community that wrap around it. Things have meaning. It's not just about the coffee for instance it's about why it's ethical inexperience era quality matters a lot especially because these millennials are investing in the experience so it makes sense that their since they're shifting money to that they'll care more about the quality of it.

And the last thing is design inexperience error. You'll notice that if it starts to feel to you like more and more things look like the inside of an Apple store it's because more more things do look like the inside of an Apple store. Millennials care a lot about design and it's showing up everywhere. So let's talk about a few industries and how they've been transformed already in the US. There's the music scene if you remember from 20 years ago when you show up to a concert there were a few people playing music and that's what a concert was. Now when you go to a music event it's really much more about the experience. You walk in and it's a crowd of people who are seeking like minded folks.

It's immersive. There are lights there's artisanal food. Yes someone's playing music somewhere but that's not actually the primary thing. You might take away from being at a music event these days and is popping up across the US. Now let's talk about retail. When you used to go to a mattress store it was a roomful of bunch of mattresses. Now you go in and it's actually limited minority might be a mattress. We're walking into is a place that's beautifully designed full of narrative really speaks to millennials. When you used to walk to a gym it was a place full of heavy weights. Now it's if you walk just like Soul Cycle what Barry's Bootcamp.

It's a group of people who are building community. They might feel even you might send something almost religious around the dedication to this specific group. This room and it's beautifully designed. If you think about consumer coffee it's again something where you know it's the kind of thing where people use to go and literally just get coffee from a diner. Now it's a beautifully designed room. Starbucks even calls itself your third place. Recognizing that there is a different kind of feeling that comes in to a coffee shop today and now you can start to see it in commercial real estate just that just starting to.

And that's something because in the past it was really a place where you got work done. If you look at this market leaders Historical Office now with Google there's a climbing wall. They care about customization choice services and they know this is critical for them to actually hire the very best talent. And what is an overheated talent war. The thing to keep in mind is that 99 percent of commercial real estate is offline. This is just starting to happen. And over the next couple of years you'll feel this in a really big way. This beginning it's experience matters because in the first couple of years whenever there's a tectonic shift those who adapt early those are the ones who get to have outsized influence and kind of pain in the future whereas we fast forward or in five years.

The folks who haven't become the laggards they're the ones who threaten the actual performance of whatever their underlying asset is. How will this change commercial real estate. What tactically do you need to do to enter the experience era. Well specifically think about your building across a bunch different dimensions. A big primary one is how do you think about lease terms. It's something where in the future people want to have duration of lease that reflects their actual needs which isn't decreasingly two to 10 years and much more let's say nimble outside of that space controls today it's something where people have almost no control almost no voice that is changing rapidly through technology email to enter from from accessing the building itself to requesting services.

You can now actually have control over almost anything. Tenant feedback historically ignored with a landlord or building and you're really thinking of it places us as a space as opposed to thinking of the people inside of it as customers in the future and experience first building. It actually solicits feedback. It cares how its customers are doing outside of that the brand of the building itself. This is something that's critical in the past people might not even know really what kind of building they're in who the owner is who's managing it. The future is a much more white labeled experience where the building itself has a brand that people care about outside of that something that's really critical is what do you provide in terms of services.

In the past nothing going forward amenity rich people should be able to get any kind of service they want from food to any sort of wellness and like yoga or whatever they might want they need to be able to access through their building. And the final one community. Right now buildings are a missed opportunity everyone in it could feel something. It could build loyalty. Instead today it's mostly a box that has no connectivity the experience era has arrived and there's no turning back at this point.

Over the next couple of years everything will change. Commercial real estate and it will no longer be about the space it's providing an experience with space attached. Eden is ushering that in for all of the commercial key stakeholders from the occupiers and the companies to the landlords and the property managers and we're enabling you to provide an experience first building for your tenants


Deb Noller: Facilities Management As We Know It Is Dead

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Deb Noller, co-founder & CEO of Switch Automation discusses how owners and developers can take advantage of the new business models and revenue created by digital facilities management.



Deb Noller, Co-Founder & CEO, Switch Automation




This video was filmed at a Peerspace, the leading online marketplace for meeting and event spaces. Click here to Learn More.

Very shortly, facilities management as we know it today will be dead and a whole new digital model will spring up and take its place.

All across the property and the real estate industry, people are adopting new technologies and using data to create really interesting new digital business models. I'm Deb Noller, I’m CEO of Switch Automation, and we have a smart buildings platform, and we're seeing a rapid transformation towards digital F.M. (facilities management). We're really excited about this digital F.M. because what we think is better building management will lower the impact that buildings have on our planet.

Research and experts have all indicated that there's going to be more than 3.5 billion new data devices posting information out of commercial buildings over the next two to three years. All of this new high quality data is going to create new business models and new revenue streams.

Real estate, as an asset class, is our largest asset class on the planet. We spend more money there than anywhere else. And real estate and the adoption of technology is being very slow. It's not just last across all of the industries it's dead last, and all of this is beginning to change. But why now? What's causing the industry to change now?

So the incentives are actually lining up to create these new business models, new technologies, and the adoption of data is causing new businesses and existing businesses to really understand how they're going to innovate for the future.

If you look at Uber as a company they didn't build technology and bring that into the market and try and sell it to the taxi drivers. What they did was they created really interesting, easy to use tech that scaled and it created a whole new market. So their drivers. And the customers adopted that technology and they adopted it in droves and they built a whole new business model. In this very similar vein, this is what's going to happen in real estate.

So the technologies are more available. They are more cost effective. They’re more deployable and increasingly interoperable. And this is being recognized right across the industry by the property companies themselves and also the service companies that are servicing the industry. They are looking at those technologies and bringing those in and creating interesting new business models and also brand new revenue streams.

We're working with a number of companies that we see as world leaders in the adoption of technologies. So this is a Canadian real estate company largely recognized as being best in class. They are using data to drive a better occupant experience. They passionately want to be the landlord of choice, and what they're doing is they're using data to proactively manage occupant comfort, and to understand where they have hot and cold spaces, and to address those before their customers are even aware of it.

We're also working with a large coworking space that is growing very rapidly, and they are really interested in using data and technologies to understand how space is utilized. So what they're really interested in is the design and the use of space around employee productivity and employee collaboration, that ultimately leads to workplace innovation.

So here's our three tips for how to survive this digital transformation of our industry.

First of all, you need to get your strategies right. So starting with a data strategy, you need to think about how you're going to harness your data, where you're going to host your data, who's going to own your data, how are you going to share that data with all the various stakeholders across your organization, but also outside your organization. You're going to have to think about data privacy, data governance, and data protection.

The second thing is, you need to get some really basic infrastructure right. So this is about getting your cyber security policies right, getting your architecture right, getting your data policies right, not just trialing every bright shiny I.T. device that's in the market.

And thirdly, make sure you're looking at your existing data and your existing systems, because you already have quite a lot in your organization that you can take advantage of. And if you get these things integrated first, and start to take advantage of those, you'll get really quick early are ROI (return on investment). So you'll get those early wins, you'll get the buy in of your management and the organization, and you'll get those wins that support your program going forward.

So commercial buildings are generating more data than ever before. This is going to be a brand new lucrative opportunity for many people in the industry. But what we would say to you is don't wait. Start now.

Mayank Agrawal: Finding Your Zen In A Noisy World

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Finding a quiet, comfortable and private technology enabled workspace on the go is no easy feat. Zenspace CEO Mayank Agrawal discuss the challenges of finding your zen in a noisy world and introduces concepts to help solve this problem, as well as maximizing use of underutilized space.



Mayank Agrawal, Founder & CEO, Zenspace




This video was filmed at a Peerspace, the leading online marketplace for meeting and event spaces. Click here to Learn More.

Hi everyone My name is Mayank Agrawal. I'm the founder and CEO of Zenspace. Today I want to talk about finding your zen in a noisy world. Zen to us stands for that quite, private comfortable moment that you need to conduct your business. It's the place where you can actually go and meet someone, take a video conference call or just focus on what you are doing but without the distraction of noise. Building on that, I'm gonna establish in this presentation through statistics, why is this a big need at this point in time. I will also talk about the lack of quietness or like lack of Zen spaces in public spaces like airports and conventions. I will also talk about what is Zenspace doing to address that need.

This was my life last ten years, working in a technology sales for last almost a decade. I used to go to conventions almost every quarter and now after 3 o'clock when I'm tired my legs give up this is what I used to do, find a little quiet little space where I can sit and do some work. I used to take my conference calls with my boss who wants to do a sales review when I'm traveling inside a car by turning on my hotspot and also at the airport. As you can see I mean whenever I travel I mean I have two hours waiting for the next United flight. Even at the open office layouts it's very interesting in the last decade. We talked about that the offices should be more open. There should be more collaboration and open office layout became the cool thing. But it's a paradox, suddenly the new research and new studies from Harvard and from many of the big magazines they are actually talking about the lack of privacy in open offices.

But what can the facility managers do now that they have invested billions and billions of dollars to set up those open open offices but there is a lack of privacy for taking a phone call taking a even topic to a remote workers which are outside the country switching onto some staggering numbers and some statistics which are my favorite while doing research for Zenspace. We came across this number - Global Business Travel in 2017 alone was $1.33 trillion. It's been growing at a rate of 5 percent on an average for the last seven years after we came out of the big dip. And it's growing faster than ever. By 2022 it will hit $1.7 trillion almost the size of a big country. On the other hand. Flexible work space is growing. We all know what is the valuation of we work today. We all know workspace as a service is actually evolving. How can you actually refactor your space so it's flexible is reusable? It's not an office space where you have a permanent office but it's reusable by another other companies simultaneously.

That's what flexible work space is all about. JLL did research as in 2017 five percent of the work space has already been converted into flexible thanks to companies like Regus and WeWork the trend will continue and it will become 30 percent in future. We are talking about trillions of dollars of commercial real estate here. The third number which I would like to establish is remote workers in North America 40 percent of employed Americans last year alone work either in part time or full time outside their offices, remote workers. 3.9 million employed Americans work full time outside their office. They did not have dedicated offices and these are freelancers consultants. These are photographers, videographers, architects, these are sales executive, C-level executives of large companies. We call them digital nomads. Digital nomads are those people who don't have a dedicated office but they work outside. And how do the work is what we are trying to address at Zenspace. Most of the time you have some privacy and quietness there. But when they go out in coffee shops and conventions and airports that's where the big problem is.

There is space. Space is not a problem, we talk about real estate being prime. We talk about you know, how can we actually create more space out of space? There is space out there, and we actually did this while setting up Zenspace. We did research of top 10 airports and convention centers across the world, and staggeringly, 40 percent of that space is underutilized. When I call them underutilized, they look like this.  They’re the the lobby, the patios, the hallways. Las Vegas commercial center as you know, the convention capital of the world, where you have consumer electronics show and shows like anybody, 4 million square feet 2.2 million square feet of which is actually exhibit halls and we're just the remaining of that is hallways lobbies and bodies. What do you do there actually? What can we do to convert those spaces? What can we do to convert those spaces without a huge transformational construction cost? What can we do to convert them into private workspaces?

We actually combined three experiences. We started with the on demand ubiquity aspects of Uber that my care is available within five minutes of me pushing that button. Wherever I am. Then the concept of WeWork which is workspace as a service. Workspace as a service meaning, how can you you reuse the existing space and share it with people? One of my favorites is Starbucks. The consistency of experience attribute which comes from Starbucks. When I'm outside of my home and office and I don't know where to go. I search for Starbucks. I search for Starbucks because I know that there is a Starbucks within 15 minutes of wherever I am. I also know that I will get free Wi-Fi, I also know the coffee I want to order and I have my space there so that to me is my Zenspace until we have enough Zenspaces and that's the consistency of experience, that consistency and guaranteed experience is very important. Uber does not offer that vehicle does that but it's not pervasive enough. Starbucks is pervasive. We combine those in our product called Zen Pod.

What is a Zen Pod? Zen Pod is quite comfortable and private technology enabled workspace which can be set up and as small as 10 square feet the size of a phone booth. And we have three different form factors for one person to person and four person and can be can be set up in less than two hours. Costs are really less than half of what you would spend on construction of a room and they are private, there are tech enabled that can be operated with a mobile app. You can actually download the Zenspace app and book that little room for yourself, pay for it and open the door yourself. It also offers a huge opportunity for generating revenue out of underutilized spaces. Through micro leasing and advertising it’s a big source of revenue. These are some visuals of how a looks like we play is what we have on offer boards upcoming in fairly large shopping mall in San Francisco where we are doing a pilot one of our parts has been placed in a coworking space as you can see here and we the biggest success we actually see and biggest need, we talked about conventions and this is where actually where we had this in one of the big events in Las Vegas. This is hard to find. The Zen moment is hard to find. And so we exist to solve the business traveler and remote workers problem. That's about Zenspace. Thank you so much.

Shannon Smith: Does A Building Have A Mission?

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Buildings need to have a mission. Shannon Smith, CEO of PointGuard says the mission of a building is not to save energy but rather to serve occupancy comfort. Smith shares how to weaponize your building management system by harnessing the wealth of data it holds and turn it into meaningful insights.



Shannon Smith, CEO, PointGuard




Hello everybody, I'm Shannon Smith, I'm glad to be here. I'm the CEO of Abundant Power now known as PointGuard. At PointGuard we're committed to innovative and impactful technologies for building teams to help them realize higher building performance. But I'm not here to talk about me and hopefully here to talk about something that's important to you and not often discussed. And that's a question of whether or not buildings have a mission? How many of you have mission statements? I know we do at PointGuard. Missions are important. It helps you determine where you're going, what you're all about, and what's your purpose? I believe buildings do have a mission and if building is complete their mission, they will have an amazing impact on your businesses and on the people who come to work and to live in them every day.

So this conversation we're going to have today is going to be about what is a buildings mission? What are some of the things that are keeping buildings from completing their mission, and how certain older technologies maybe are failing on the job and what new technologies, new software like PointGuard can do to help buildings complete their mission. So let's get going.

Now one of the things has always found curious in the conversation about analytics and building and building software is that so much focus is on energy analytics. But we don't build buildings to save energy do we? We actually build buildings to provide an amazing workplace experience and to last as long as they can at the lowest possible operating and capital costs. Energy costs just come along for the ride. So if your building completes it’s mission and does those things, great workplace experience at lowest capital and operating costs. What happens? Profit for the owners and great enjoyment for the occupants and the tenants. So I want to talk a little bit now about what can be done or what stands in the way of buildings completing their mission. They're really six things that come to mind to me and I want to talk about it and maybe some you know. But here listing them out can tell you a little bit about why it's so hard for building to complete their mission. And then what and why software sometimes doesn't really do the job.

What is time? It’s a tyranny of the urgent today. We have so little time we had one building manager say I have one click in one minute. The next is talent. There's a major talent gap today saying a recent study by RIBEX says that there are more people over the age of 70 in facility management than under the age of 30. The third thing and this is really builds off of time and talent, is stability. We have less time and less people. You're moving teams around more and the knowledge is embedded in the building and how it performs is being lost. There's a lot of lack of stability today. Comfort is an important aspect of a building's mission. We found at PointGuard buildings are not within three degrees a set point, one out of every five days during occupied hours. It's the one thing you can’t control in your operating of a building and it's the one thing you don't. Knowledge everyone knows in the facilities space that knowledge is reactionary, it’s static is based on the things that the vendors are telling you to do and is still visual today so little data is being used deeply in buildings to help them complete their mission.

And the last the most important thing that keeps buildings from completing their mission is action. Nothing good happens in a building unless you know exactly where to go to turn a wrench and so much of energy analytic software and software is being used a day in facility management doesn't have any idea where to tell people to go to improve their buildings. So here's your analytics, is a long way away from helping millions complete their mission. Recent Energy Star score recalibration might even tell you that even more, the average office building lost 12 points of Energy Star score in August. Energy analytics is just a small part of the data opportunity deeper building analytics is the real picture that you have today. So what can be done? How do you begin to take technology and help a building complete its mission?

We believe at PointGuard to the answers right in front of you. What you already have invested in the building, you're building management system. There's a wealth of data there that is underutilized. It may be the most important asset you have in this journey. How does that work? You start with your energy bill data, that's a very small part of it. Then you take all your BMS data. The next most important thing is having some form of software solution that can help you process said data. But it has to do the most important thing of all and lead to meaningful action. If it does that the building can complete their mission. If you take a look at all the pieces of equipment that are available and you're BMS you can begin to look at it in terms of comfort and asset health and with the right kind of software tools you can take all those pieces of equipment and move them into the highest asset life in the highest possible comfort delivery.

So at PointGuard we think that the next platform has to meet a number of goals and that’s how we designed our facility management platform. It has to maximize time, has to be intuitive, straightforward, easy to use, it has to solve the talent gap. It has got to allow one person do a lot more work than before and also attract younger talent into the facility's space. And if you're outsourcing your facility services, they're facing the same challenge. Using a PointGuard software, one person can manage over 20 million square feet. That's over 20 times the current rubic used by facility management today. It needs to remain with your building. It has to amplify local knowledge all the people that have come through all the people that know that building, that information has to be captured and algorithms and machine learning, and it has to stay with that building for the next owner and the next management team. We have to eliminate comfort mistakes. You have to be able to deliver 100 percent comfort 100 percent of occupied hours. If you do that you eliminate over half of your comfort complaints. It's an amazing outcome and it's something that building management is not doing today at all.

Instead of focusing on energy we've got to move to something bigger and more important, something in the mainstream of what real estate is all about. It's about your assets. It's about operating expenses. You want to extend your asset life. You want to replace assets when you want to replace them, not when the vendors tell you to replace them. Operating data is single most important piece of information missing from building management. They were the only asset class it doesn't replace equipment based on operating information, replacing static nameplate maintenance information that's not accurate and billions of dollars are being wasted today. Lastly it's got to be precise. It’s got to stop wasting time, tell people where to go to turn a wrench to improve your buildings and help them fulfill their mission. And those are the six points that we designed our platform around to deliver that kind of value to the people that use it. So it's time to go beyond energy Analytics. In my opinion it's time to for buildings to help complete their mission to provide maximum occupant comfort. To have the lowest possible capital and operating costs and as a result, help you have maximum amount of profit and have the occupants have the most enjoyable workplace experience possible. We can do that and PointGuard.

Jamie Hodari: A Better Way to Workplace as a Service (WaaS)

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Jamie Hodari, CEO of workplace provider Industrious, describes the latest office strategy: Workplace as a Service (Waas).



Jamie Hodari, CEO & Co-Founder, Industrious

Website | Twitter | Linkedin



My name is Jamie Hodari, I run a company called Industrious. We're the largest premium workplace provider in the country so we're in about 35 cities and launching three or four units a month. Within that context I wanted to talk a little bit about what our industry actually is and then to talk about risk in our business. So when we started our business, in those initial sort of pitch meetings, all anybody wanted to talk about is coworking the real deal and how long is it going to be around for or is it just a trend? And I think at this point that's really receded but people do want to know. Okay I believe it's here to stay.

I know that adoption is growing really quickly but how risky is it? And so I wanted to focus a little bit on that and then in particular what landlords can do to take advantage of the rapid rise in adoption of this product category and in a way that mitigates risk. So what is our business? Here's the truth about workplace as a service, it is in large sense an outsourcing business. So when we started the business the premise at the time was that the white space in the coworking industry was for a more professional, more elegant product and that was true and I think that remains true to this day.

About a year in we had a customer, a large Silicon Valley firm that was growing out of one of our spaces and they approached us and said, hey we actually really need your help. Would you be willing to build out our headquarters in Chicago for us, we think that you'll deliver a better product than if we did it ourselves.

And in that moment I think my Co-Founder and I had sort of a light bulb moment where he said this is an outsourcing industry. This is basically where a large sophisticated company is taking a major cost line non-core complex out of their business and handing it off to a third party. And the observation is that in a lot of outsourcing industries, they kind of exist as niches for decades. So if you think about manufacturing outsourcing that was around in the 70s and the 80s as 1% of the market, your factories are overloaded so you use an outsourced manufacturer in data storage. You've run out of server space, so you outsource some portion of your data storage. Until someday when you see this rapid rise in adoption, and in a lot of outsourcing industries it goes from 1% to 5% to 50% in data storage. 95% adoption, and the question is what causes that rise in adoption?

For us it's clear that in most outsourcing industries it's the moment when someone can walk in your door and say I can do this better than if you did it yourself. So I can manufacture the iPhone more efficiently, more effectively, with less errors than if Apple did it. I can store your data more effectively with less downtime, fewer service interruptions than when you hosted on your own servers and we've basically spent five years trying to cross that exact threshold to be able to walk into Johnson & Johnson's Head of Workplace's office or Pinterest or Twitter or Spotify or Bank of America and say we are going to deliver a better workplace experience to your employees. You're going to have happier, more engaged, more productive employees if you let us deliver your workplace experience for you rather than if you do it yourself.

I think about a year and a half ago Industrious and a few other providers were actually able to start crossing that threshold. And that's why when you look at our business and you say what's going on here? Why is this cropping up everywhere? Why are large enterprise customers starting to really crank up their adoption? It's because like a lot of outsourcing industries it's also addictive once you started doing it and you see that you get a better outcome. It's really hard to go back to doing it yourself. So that would be kind of my framework for where we are today.

I don't want to oversell it. I think for small businesses and teams of 20 and below that ship has sailed. You're going to be in some sort of outsource setting. For larger teams from big businesses, I think we're in the experimental phase. If you look at most big Fortune 500 hundreds they're doing one or two major experiments with putting a team of 200, 300, 400 people in an outsourced setting and they're testing, how happy are my employees? How many people quit in an 18 month period. They're taking stock and a lot of those companies are coming to the end of that experimental period and I think, look I'm biased here but I think most of them are coming to the conclusion that they actually did get a better outcome and they're now starting the wave of really pushing adoption, at least outside of their headquarters, moving a lot of their workforce portfolio to a third party setting. So the question I think at hand is what does that mean for landlords?

This is, I think, very clearly becoming the most important amenity in a building. Meaning, Ernst and Young comes with a 300,000 square foot lease in a building and they're trying to decide if they're going to be in you know Columbus Circle or the building three blocks south of here. And it matters if the gym is nice, and it matters if there's a roof deck, but really if you can say look, I have four floors of the building that are dedicated to highly serviced flexible space that you can grow your team into, that really is an amenity that moves the needle on how corporate occupiers are deciding where to go. We're in the building already having whisky tasting classes and lectures and a highly serviced sort of amenity base and we're able to deliver that to the entire tenant base of the building not just to the flexible workplace customers and you find that increasingly are saying I really want this in my building but this feels risky.

What I will say is the knock on our business, which is that it is a mismatch of long-term liabilities and short-term asset, and I think if you talk to any coworking skeptic that's the first thing they will point to is a very valid criticism of our business. I think people bend over backwards in our business to try to say it's not true and here's why it's not true and you don't have to worry about that. The reality is, it is true. I think as our business becomes an increasingly large part of the commercial real estate industry more broadly, that's a problem because you're amassing a lot of risk and we think there's a better way to do this. So this would be an exhaustive sort of you know revenue of a coworking operator over various ups and downs, various cycles and it probably looks a lot like other revenue management businesses which is to say you know if you look at lodging over the last eight recessions there tends to be a 15% swing in revenue. If you look at Regus, which is comparable to the different businesses in the last recession in North America where they have twelve hundred units they saw about an 11% reduction in revenue at the unit level. That's not that risky of a business within the framework of most industries. I think that's a relatively reasonable risk profile.

The problem is when you put a lease underneath that, it's basically like putting leverage on our business. It's like if you put debt on your house and you get all of the upside from appreciation and you're underwater immediately if you go below the loan amount. What it does is creates these wild swings in profitability for coworking providers where in good years they're printing money and in bad years they're in the red. And the problem for landlords is if you look at a WeWork, Industrious or any other coworking provider and this is brutally honest, they will put money into a unit for 3-7 months perhaps if it's losing money in a recession but they're not going to forever. It means the landlord is bearing a lot of the downside risk and participating in none of the upside risk.

We believe very strongly that it's time for our industry to start shifting over to the model of the hotel industry where coworking providers and workplace service providers partner with landlords. They program the whole building, they have coworking floors of essentially custom suites for teams of 20 to 400, and you do that in a profit sharing arrangement rather than on top of a fixed lease. This is something that doesn't sound that cutting edge but it's at the very forefront of the industry right now.

This Reuters article from I think four days ago is the first time I've seen a major publication talk about the fact that providers like us are starting to move to management contracts. It's happening very quickly. So for Industrious for example, a year ago 95% of our pipeline was arm's length leases and 5% were partnerships with landlords. It's now about 75% partnerships with landlords and I really think this is not just about Industrious. This is something that's going to turn our industry into a more sustainable, safer business. That large occupiers can really use with peace of mind that it's not going anywhere and that landlords can take advantage of without taking on undue risk.

This for example is a project we just announced with Blackstone in Los Angeles to manage an entire campus of buildings for them under a profit sharing arrangement where we're managing coworking or managing custom suites and also all of the building common amenities. So let's say your the landlord and you decide, this makes sense, I do think I want to partner up with a provider under a sort of management or partnership arrangement. And then you've got to really dig in on who you're going to partner with because more so than an arm's length lease scenario, you're really shoulder to shoulder with that operator.

I'll go very quickly through some of the ways in which a landlord should approach this question.

So first what is the quality of the provider to go back to the earlier point. The name of the game in this business is to walk in the door of Pandora's Head of Workplace and say, we can deliver as good or better of a workplace experience than when you do it yourself. That's a high bar to cross and it's very important when you're working with your workplace-as-a-service provider, to be working with a quality provider that can actually make that pitch. Here's some images of industrial cities across the country. Increasingly it's a relationship business where the coworking provider, whether it's WeWork or Industrious, is working directly with the occupier. So it's important to be working with one that already has a series of existing relationships with those occupiers to start to deploy more and more of their workplace portfolio across the country.

The next is what is the profile of the actual people to walk into work everyday? Some buildings want a very young engineering-heavy sort of workplace, some want more mature, broad national businesses and there's no wrong answer to it but it's worth thinking for your building about matching the type of workplace provider you're bringing in, with the general brand tone of the building.

The next is, and I do think this is quite important, you need a national provider. So this is true for a Johnson & Johnson, they're looking for one or two providers to do 7, 8 markets with and it becomes increasingly hard for single point local providers to compete. So that's part of why you're seeing a lot of consolidation in the business.

Andrew Farah: People Are Weird

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Andrew Farah is the Founder & CEO of Density, a sensor technology company who measures the, at times, unusual behavior of people and how they interact with the space around them.



Andrew Farah, CEO, Density

Website | Twitter | Linkedin



My name is Andrew Farah Co-Founder and CEO of a company called Density. My talk is called People are weird. So I'm going to explain a little bit more about what we're going to go through today.

So first off, the population has grown into a fixed amount of space, like we're not creating more earth. So the way that we solve that problem is obviously by building in three dimensions. This is kind of a staggering number. Now this is 10 billion humans by 2040. But this curve actually shows what would happen in the event of some serious catastrophe. So we're going to skip that and sort of look at the general trend is up and to the right.

It turns out that you all are very weird. You walk in different directions. You bring stuff with you. Sometimes you even will hide in your natural environment, so these are like beneath hinges. Often times there are packs of people and you tend to bring plates with you which is very difficult for us to count. This happens usually very late at night about 2:00 o'clock in the morning. People come by and pick up all the stuff that we've left behind. And then sometimes you bring your dogs, and that's also very challenging because that's an organic object inside of a space where we should be counting the human. OK. So how we know all of this is that we built a people counter.

Density is essentially a space analytics company, we measure how people use space inside of large corporate buildings that we work with predominantly the Fortune 1000 and we build this device. And so it gets mounted above an entryway, it is powered with PoE (power over ethernet) connected to the Internet and we essentially anonymously count entrances and exits as people go through space.

Kind of looks like this and can support any double or single entryway. There's a lot of complexity inside the device. It looks super simple. I'm not going to go into the engineering behind it, more years of my life have been poured into this than I care to admit, but all this happens locally so none of this is streamed to our system. Instead it's just happening on the device and we process plus one minus one and all the errant behavior that humans exhibit inside space.

We built this because we just wanted to know how busy our favorite coffee shop was when we first started about four years ago. It turns out it's a much more interesting problem when you deploy this into really large corporate space just because the size of the the square footage is colossal. This is observed behavior about 40 to 60 percent of all entrances to secure doors include tailgating. If you're familiar with tailgating it’s just essentially two people going into a secure door and it's typically because someone's being polite and there's holding the door for another employee. But that's a problem, it's a very serious problem. In fact it's so much of a problem that they've created these ridiculous products called people leaders. Does anyone know what a people eater is? It is not this.

This is definitely not it although as much as I would love a giant purple person to come running after the person who tailgates. It is also not this although we're getting closer. It is not a door. It's actually this. This is the people here and this sort of ensures that only one person goes through an entryway at a time. Do we know what a man trap is? OK. This is not a man trap. This is a bear trap. This is also not a man trap. This is a mouse trap. This is a man trap and these are both very unfortunate names for products.

But this is how we solve tailgating today. You'll see these at airports where people will go through and it can ensure that only one person goes through. So this video actually came from one of our partners who solved tailgating in a slightly different way. They deployed our product on the inside of the store and as the person goes through there using our API in real time, like 400 second latencies spare a milliseconds, very very quickly count the number of people who go through and then compare it with the badge data. And if there's a discrepancy, they take a photograph. We don't build the camera but they set up a process that takes a photograph. I was really hoping there might be like a trapdoor or some other type of interesting thing like a net.

So we periodically will do space studies so it will take data and help answer what to deploy into different rooms and then we'll analyze the data and we'll provide a customer with what's happening inside their space. We answer questions like are people using these conference rooms? Is the conference room or space sized properly? And what are the most used rooms or least used rooms? So we are going through this data but we were going through this with one of our customers and we sort of pointed out that one of the rooms that they had was essentially used by two people but it was designed for 12 and it is a really large space and they decided that they were going to break it up into essentially a space that was more like a lounge.

And we sort of went through each of these rooms and we landed on one of the last ones. We said this one is actually optimally used. It's designed for four people it's consistently used by three or four people and it's the most popular room.

Now we have no idea why but it just is. And they said oh my god it's the television. And we said what does that mean. And they said well it's the only room that we put a television in. So everyone goes to that room because there is a television there. Now I'm not suggesting that you should put televisions everywhere, I'm simply suggesting that once you understand how people use space you can draw some very interesting conclusions about what to do next.

10.9 billion square feet. That's cumulative leased or owned corporate office space in the U.S.. It is an enormous amount of square feet. So periodically we'll go to the SEC and we'll scrape the 10k filings and just to pull interesting data. And one of the things that we found was that these companies own just incredible amount of space and they are constantly recalibrating, they're either constantly acquiring or they're consolidating. This is just a snapshot of the numbers.

You'd think with this problem of human population rapidly growing and our willingness to sort of solve the problem in three dimensions that we'd be constantly trying to catch up with the population but that's actually not true. So 41 percent of all leased or owned corporate office space in the U.S. is empty but paid for it. It's just not used. I mean it's not used. It's just empty. And the problem isn't that people don't know they have a problem, they know they have the problem. They just can't agree on which 41 percent. And so that's one of the reasons we get it we get a call periodically. The cost is roughly 150 billion dollars in the U.S. spent on space that's not used. And what's really cool actually about this is that the percentages are pretty consistent internationally. So 41 percent 39 percent 40 percent is pretty consistent although China is more like 28 percent although I’m not exactly sure how they did that. Japan is like is like 49 percent or something. It's really amazing.

Does anyone know what COPPA is? It is a federal legislation that came about in 1988 and it has to do with Child Online Privacy Protection and even updating this periodically, they updated it in 2013, they updated it in 2017, so as the technology has changed they've made changes to the rules. So you may not be familiar with COPPA but you may be familiar with how YouTube requires you to be a certain age or certain systems require you to be a certain age. This is why. And I bring this up for a particular reason. COPPA has never encountered smart cameras before. When you encounter smart when you sort of mash up smart cameras and the requirement to have parental consent on any data that you're collecting about someone who's below 13, then you run into some pretty interesting issues. As you think about sort of your space, public spaces are perfectly OK with cameras but you should sort of be mindful as you're deploying cameras inside of spaces. I don't believe that most of you are are employing 12 year olds but just something to bear in mind.

So we did a deployment inside of a large corporate in a financial institution and it was the head of global I.T. who was our was our primary point of contact and he had a bunch of engineers that were milling about and this is a couple of years ago and we had deployed one of our devices which is about four times the size of the device that I had here is a prototype that we're collecting data trying to understand how the space is being used and also just trying to improve accuracy. And ahead of I.T. looks at the the engineer and says “Hey that thing you're looking at it's a camera and it's spying on you.” And he was he was joking. And this is what the engineer did.

The thing that was very interesting about this, is that this is culture.

This is not rules. This is not policy. This is not your employment contract. This is what people feel and what's really funny it was so he turns around because we were laughing we're about ten feet behind we were on our laptops and we were like “Oh hey we heard laughing over want to show you what you look like on the device.” He came over and we showed him the algorithm we showed him the the depth data this is all depth data. And and he started laughing like man that's so cool like you have no idea who I am. I can literally stare up at it and have no idea. So anyway I just sort of another point is you really can't put cameras in conference rooms you really have to be able to protect privacy especially inside of secure facilities and so building something anonymous was very important to us and it's very important to the Fortune 1000 that we work with.

One last story and then I’ll wrap up. So we're in all U.S. cafeterias, culinary has sort of been a an interesting space that we work with heads of global real estate who we're trying to consolidate. We work with facilities managers who are trying to automate cleaning rooms. So it turns out that we clean rooms that are clean as opposed to clean rooms that have been used. So we help automate some of that. We also work with heads of workplace strategy who are trying to understand how to optimize space or better improve the space design or the furniture that goes into that. And we also work with culinary which was surprising to us. So we get deployed into this very large floor, there were five entrances to one cafeteria and we we started counting over a period of time the number of people that go through each of the points of entry and we can we reconciled count for that one space. And when we looked at the data we showed up to a meeting and we we presented the client with data. They had 91,000 entrances and exits through one door. One of these five doors over 120 day period. The next door over had 131,000 entrances and exits over the same 120 day period and then two, not one, but two doors to the elevators had 515,000 entrances and exits over the same 120 day period. They employ 5,000 people like it's one floor. It's five doors.

And we told them this and they said you’re lying. And we said we're not lying. It's 96.68 percent accurate or whatever it was at the time.

And we start going back and forth. They immediately deployed US sort of nationally which was cool but but the thing that I thought was really neat was one guy spoke up and said oh my god I think that's why our hinges are failing the doors just kept getting opened and closed and opened and closed.

So the point is your space is big, people are weird and it's totally normal to not know what's happening inside that space. And I think if there's sort of anything that I would leave everyone here with it's just simply that as you're thinking about space like why build any space without knowing how it's used thank you very much.

Angie Lee: What Working Outside Teaches Us About Working Inside

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Angie Lee, Head of Brand and Marketing for Industrious presents their outdoor co-working project with L.L. Bean and how owners and developers of office space need to embrace new lessons on creating an amazing day at work. 



Angie Lee, Head of Brand & Marketing, Industrious




Hi my name is Angie Lee and I'm the Head of Branding and Marketing for Industrious but I'm here to talk to you a little bit about a collaboration we did with L.L. Bean. It was an exciting opportunity for us to really understand what working outside teaches us about working inside.

We are committed to delivering an amazing day at work where thousands of members across our 50 locations across the country and over the past five years. Since we were founded we've helped over 2000 companies actually really grow and scale their businesses. And what makes it really interesting what really helped us stand apart is the fact that we can look across all of these 2000 companies to really distill what delivers on an amazing day at work and really the secret sauce boils down to two things that our ability to marry gorgeous high quality spaces that are designed really to drive productivity not just by creating beautiful spaces but about spaces that drive productivity and the other is to marry that where the workplace experience it really makes people proud and excited to come to work.

So we're talking about scale in terms of office space but then individualising the workplace experience and we're incredibly proud of what we've done. We have amazing space. This is actually our space in Chicago Fulton Market and of course we have our Center City location out in L.A. And what we've done is an amazing job of flooding all of our spaces with so much light and really filling it with green to really bring the outside in because we've all read the same research that having a lot of sunlight, having a lot of greenery can actually increase productivity in the workplace. But really at the end of the day what all of our 50 locations share is the fact that they're inside office buildings. So as much as we want to bring all of this outside in, we're still inside. And so when L.L. Bean came to us and said you know, what would it look like if we were to redefine what an office looks like when you actually have no walls? We really jumped at this opportunity ask ourselves if we're really challenging ourselves to deliver an amazing day at work. What can we learn from working outside that can actually influence the way we design spaces inside? So thus was the L.L. Bean be an outsider campaign.

So this past summer what we did is we built these amazing outdoor pods these pods were designed using some basic principles around the cost of the building itself but then what we did was peppered in the principles that really drive productivity and effectiveness in an Industrious space. And then we took this pod on the road. So first we started out in New York City Madison Square Park typical tenant doing a typical conference call except he's doing and stationary bike. Right. And you see a bunch of people on the corner of here who are kind of sitting around milling around outside. We went to Boston, we went to Philadelphia, and we went to Madison Wisconsin.

So in the course of taking this thing on the road four locations, three to four days in each location we spoke to over 15 hundred people who showed up to really take advantage of this opportunity to work outside. We learned some really interesting things that really reinforce some of the principles we knew already deliver an amazing day at work but also then helped us translate what working outside could tell us about creating productive workplaces inside.

So because these talks always end up with three takeaways I’m going to walk you through three of those ideas. So first and foremost working outdoors really drives productivity indoors. Now to some of you guys this may be a little bit counterintuitive because when you think about going outside when you're at work you think of it as a break from productivity. I'm going to take a walk to clear my head. I'm going to get away from my desk, you take a walk when you go out for lunch. Those are the moments in which we're thinking about that as being a break. But let's take a step back and ask ourselves what defines a modern workplace today? What's fundamentally changed the modern workplace from say a factory in the eighteen hundreds. Is the idea that we don't believe that individuals are cogs in a machine but that our role is to really design workplaces that bring out the best in individuals and bringing out the best in individuals means you have to offer different productivity based types throughout the day.

So think about your day, you start the morning you're a little tired you're getting kind of settled in, you might go into BuzzFeed you're sitting at your desk right. You go to get coffee to kind of stand up walk around and you go to the kitchen and all of a sudden you're interacting with your colleagues. You then have to go to a conference room and so on and so what you see is these spaces can actually either contribute to your productivity or they can actually in some cases zap your productivity. So if you take an average person's energy levels throughout the day you might see some patterns so here's an anonymized individual over a five day period and what you see is every morning they would sit down on their desk and you would see that they're not really a morning person. They start out on their energy levels starts to climb and then eventually they go through lunch and then they end up going to a conference room in the conference room either zap's their energy because meetings zap and diverts energy or because it's just later in the day your sugar levels are dropping or increasing. You are getting sleepy and then you go back to your desk. And so the idea is that if you actually design a space for humans you're designing them not to force humans into the spaces that they're in but to give as many opportunities for individuals to kind of work in those spaces.

Now what happens if we start to treat the outdoors not as a novelty as this crazy idea that we're encouraging people to work outside but we simply treat it as another productivity space time. All of a sudden you're like oh I'm going to have my conference meeting I'm going to do this I'm going to have a meeting outside. You go to S.F. people in S.F. are notorious for their walking meetings and that's kind of the same thing, if you're already having a one-on-one with someone, why not go outside get a little bit that the energy in and get the endorphins running. But if you start to think of it as simply another productivity space type and not as a novelty, then you start to think of it as well, what could the impact be? So you take that same person and you stick them inside for a little bit and all of a sudden you start to see spikes in energy that actually exist once they return back indoors.

Now all of you guys know this you take a walk at lunch and you come back feeling refreshed. How amazing does it feel? It feels like it can give you the energy to get through the rest of the day. But that brings it to the second principle is that simply being outdoors is not enough. Delivering an amazing day at work, what we have found across all of our members is that you really give folks the energy or the environment to feel truly productive. So even just take a moment to think about what makes an amazing good day for you, it might be that you felt proud about the accomplishments that you achieved or that you felt incredibly productive and you got a lot of things done. If you're a checklist person, you are checking things off.

Let's have some honest talk.

Landlords a while back. You guys come onto the idea that being outdoors is a really great idea. And so you build these things right. And this all of a sudden was your outdoor space. Hard surfaces, completely rigid. I mean you spend two minutes eating a bad pizza out there and you're ready to go back inside. So landlords are putting these up outside these pavilions and then they said well no one uses them. It's not a good use of my time or energy. So therefore this willy nilly stuff about creating outdoor workspaces is just a fad. But what we found working with L.L. Bean and creating this space is that in the same things that you need indoors you need outdoors and you begin to make those outside spaces as productive. So if you look at the way that we've designed these spaces you have a mix of task seating and you have soft seating.

So are you being heads down and working on that memo. Oh you're boss or are you having a conversation to further further the relationship you have with a colleague. Are you. Do you have a convening space where you and your team can stand around Jim white board where you can actually collaborate and kind of be on the same page and putting things up on a screen. Is there fast reliable Wi-Fi. I mean anyone who's been stuck in an airport with no Wi-Fi knows that without Wi-Fi in this modern age it's a little hard to be productive and most specifically is just screen friendly shade. I mean if you think about using a laptop outside the one thing that gets in the way is glare and if you have an old school I mean this compared to this is obviously a completely different experience.

And so what this tells us is that yes people want to be outside but in order to be outside you actually need to have a space that's designed for productivity outside. This brings us to our third principle which reinforces what many of us already know is that outdoor amenities can create an outsize workplace experience. Now in the course of going on the road with L.L. Bean we had 1500 people show up and the response was overwhelming. Teams show up to hold their weekly check ins outside. We had people coming up to us saying you know I feel so refresh I can go back and you know kind of really work.

But what was really interesting is a lot of the team members the individual that came to us had smaller offices they came from smaller companies and they were so excited to be have a novel experience but to be able to leave their smaller offices or come outside. And so when you zoom out a bit and you take our installation in Philadelphia which is in the middle of the park what you see all around it are big office buildings right. And so imagine if you were a landlord and you have large office buildings around it it's just a very small leap forward to think of it as a campus right. It's really the difference when you want to brag about having a campus is about activating the outdoor spaces and the common areas.

And what we're seeing more and more is more landlords are recognizing that by partnering by using your outerspace as an act of being a common areas you can actually optimize the tenant experience but also increase revenue. Right here you have a rendering of the partnership that we set industrious is working with Blackstone Q in order to reposition the Howard Hughes campus out in L.A. And essentially what that is is it is a reinvention of what the modern campus looks like.

And what we're doing is we're building up entire outdoor spaces you see over here as we're moving some of the walls completely and putting glass doors or bringing the outside in. We're creating all these areas. Everything is going to be a Wi-Fi optimize everything has to be designed for a truly mobile workplace. Now L.A. is the perfect place for this where you have I mean sunshine all the time. And so when we designed is really a campus that can reflect that coastal lifestyle. But then also just use all of the available real estate to create a truly modern workplace campus.

So what does that look like so you notice here you have convening spaces here like we talked about you have taxiing back here with tables and chairs you have open places where people can walk and talk. There is a lot of variety of spaces so they even within the outdoor space were bringing those same principles into creating a modern workplace experience.

So if we look at the outdoor areas you can also see that the the opportunities are to activate the indoor areas as well. But again removing some of the doors and designing experiences that bring the outside in means that we get the best of both worlds you have climate control here 5 all those details that enable folks to be productive throughout and so on reflection if we look at what we learned going through what many people look at perhaps as a novel stunt that we did with L.L. Bean what you really can take away is that there are many principles that really define how working outdoors can help define what happens indoors and if you go back to the ultimate question of what delivers on an amazing day at work.

Well we would argue, that an office with no walls is actually looks like just an amazing day at work.

Laura Patel: Building for the 21st Century

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We’ve been building in the same ways since 1916, and they’re all expensive. Laura Patel, Global Head of Partnerships for DIRTT takes us through the evolution of construction methodologies and how technology is able to solve for time and cost efficiency.  



Laura Patel, Director of Global Partnerships, DIRTT

Website | Twitter | Linkedin



My name is Laura Patel and I am one of your local DIRTTbags. I work for DIRTT environmental solutions and this morning we're going to talk to you about construction for the 21st century and why we need digital construction.

I gave a talk last week at the University of Buffalo, they asked me to come up and do a TED talk for some of the real estate community and their students. And in preparing for that TED talk, some of my research brought me to this postcard which is a postcard from 1890. So let that sink in. This is 126 years ago and in this postcard you can see that they predicted that by the year 2000, this is in 1890, we would have architects sitting in a fun little box somewhere far far away pushing buttons and through a series of mechanical levers and pulleys and robots, we would be building onsite, using no human beings. And at first I thought this is crazy. This is mind blowing to me that this is what they thought we would be doing in 126 years. And yet as I started to study this more, I realized that they actually got it half right. Because by the year 2000 we had started to make huge advances on the design side.

We went from hundreds and hundreds of years of paper drawings to CAD in the 1970s through the 1990s and this introduced some process and some standardization to the design industry, whereas two drawing sets may have been dramatically different for the last couple of hundred years before that. Then in the 90s we started to introduce different BIM technologies and this allowed for on the fly problem solving by smaller groups of teams, whereas making a building like this would have required dozens of people in the past to try and collaborate and figure out how to actually get this built. Then more recently, moving into the early 2000s up until today, we've obviously seen this onsurge of different design technologies that now allow us to actually visualize the space before it's even built. Yet, this is our graph for technological adoption in design.

So a pretty steep curve and only getting steeper. If we contrast that with construction though it looks like this. This is a study by McKinsey and Company and you can see green is high adoption of technology red is low adoption of technology and for this study of McKinsey and Company polled 23 different industry sectors and if you scroll all the way to the bottom just above agriculture and hunting you'll find construction. So construction innovates only more than agriculture and hunting in terms of our adoption of technology in the process. And this is going back again about twenty five years of this study.

I started to think about that and it's true if you look at any other industry, the automotive industry, electronics be that TVs, phones or even healthcare, we like to criticize healthcare but even healthcare has been disrupted multiple times over the last hundred years. Yet if you compare that with construction, we've actually been building the exact same way since about 1916. That was the last great innovation that's when drywall was invented everyone, 1916. Although design has come really far, we've gone from this to this. We're still building the same way which is resulting in what I like to call the Museum of fun things that happen in construction.

The reality is they are all expensive and some of the research that I came across suggests that in the United States and Great Britain for every dollar we spend on construction about 34 cents of that dollar goes towards repairing mistakes that happen on site or towards different costs that arise from schedule overruns related to again, mistakes, miscommunications or challenges throughout the process. And that might not seem like a big number but when you start to factor that into the overall construction that happens annually it actually works out to about 140 billion dollars in wasted money because we are again, not using construction in this process. So how can we use 21st century construction technologies to help bring us into this century and build better? Meet DIRTT.

Now I'm going to talk about how we're taking all of that sophisticated design intelligence and we're actually bringing that one step further into the construction process. So we do that using a really sophisticated pre-construction design technology and it's doing four really important things for us. The first is that it's actually connecting all of the different platforms in one software. So rather than having your architect who's then trying to communicate via paper to the subcontractors how to build the space, this is actually automating between a 3-D view and a 2D view, all of our elevations plan details everything is being sort of streamlined into this one platform. The second thing it's doing is it's engineering the entire building and all of the assemblies that we are producing, it's engineering them custom to a thousandth of an inch. So we never build the same things twice. Just like your general contractor never does. Everything is custom to a thousandth of an inch. And the way we do that is the software is actually behind the scenes doing all that heavy lifting for us. The third thing it's doing so we're engineering it we know it's buildable we're seeing it visually which really helps with the decision making process and we are also streamlining again the backend deliverables out to the design community. But the third thing it's doing is it's pricing everything in real time to the set. So I never have to call my client and say really sorry, but actually it's going to cost us another four thousand dollars or fifty thousand dollars. I know immediately what that cost is and this isn't a high level budget, this is my actual cost to the client.

And the last thing it's doing which is the coolest part is as soon as my client says I love the way it looks, that meets my budget and you haven't told me that I can't build it. It's actually written all of the A.I. required for us to go to work within minutes and start to build every part and piece offsite using robotics and manufacturing. So taking all of that design intelligence and now actually having it produce all of your building materials. So how does it look once we get on site? Well it starts to make the construction industry a lot more akin to what we do in the automotive industry. We're not bringing raw materials to site and then having Joe and his friends hopefully construct the space in a way that reflects the drawings, we're actually producing it all in a factory. And it's coming to site and clicking together kind of like Legos. So everything from the Electrical to the data whether that's Cat 6 or fiber through to all of the wall assemblies which are going to be stood on site and zip together, nothing's being cut or finished or sanded. Those come equipped with whatever they need to from a technology standpoint, with plumbing, with data, with electrical. We're going to level the frames because buildings are never quite straight and then make all of those above ceiling connections that we first installed, install any integrated technology that needs to go within the cavity of those walls and then snap the tiles on and we're done.

So I'm going to walk you through three case studies just to try and land this and show you some examples of the work that we're doing in the U.S. specifically we're a 400 million dollar firm and we operate in 11 countries, the U.S. is our biggest market. Saudi Arabia is actually our second biggest market with Canada coming in third. I'm going to focus on three projects in the U.S. So this is Microsoft's offices in Detroit Michigan. We finished this six months ago a couple of quick highlights and photos from the project you can kind of see the scope of work here so a pretty densely constructed space everything highlighted in blue is DIRTT, along with all of the casework and millwork in the pantry areas and highlights of the scope of construction. So this was about a 40000 square foot space. Our multiyear trade umbrella was forty five dollars a square foot and we had a nine week construction timeline for our scope of work. What was in our scope of work was all of the wall assemblies that you saw highlighted which was all of the interior wall assemblies we didn't do any of the core of the perimeter, all of the wall engineering so that's the acoustical treatment, the blocking any of the utility that was running through the walls. All of the finishes and then integrated technology. We also did all of the pantries and conference room millwork, all of the arm wires and then we took over 40% of the electrical package on this project.

Second project JDA Software in Phoenix. Again some quick project highlights quite a bit more open plan in this project but a ton of technology, they had about 25 integrated monitors throughout the space. They are a software companies so they really wanted this to be a reflection of the fact that they are a tech firm. And some highlights here, 15,000 square feet this was $67 a square foot for our scope of construction and a five week construction schedule for us. Very similar scope of work except that we also did passive optical networks on this job.

So we were providing all of their network infrastructure including the backbone to the building. And then the last project which I can't say the name of but is a confidential financial services firm here in New York City that we're working on some project highlights on that.

This is just in construction so I'm just including some renderings and this is a typical floor plan. We're working with four different architecture firms and for GC's because we are building one point two million square feet in six months so there weren't enough people at each of these firms they couldn't award it to one firm. But they did award it to us as a turnkey prefab method. In order for them to meet their schedule our cost is about $37 a square foot depending on the floor plate. Each building is different. And we have a five week per floor construction schedule, largely very similar scope of work as the other buildings but we're only providing partial electrical assemblies because of the code limitations in New York and we're not doing any data here. So to summarize this is probably a lot of what you guys are currently going through with your existing construction process. You have a lot of uncertainty, you never know exactly what you're gonna get, exactly how much it's going to cost or exactly how long it's going to take and hopefully I've given you some food for thought on how you could be using digital construction and 21st century construction methods to be able to provide cost certainty schedule certainty and ultimately future proof your space. Thank you.