Intelligent push to Indian real estate

February 14, 2012 / By  

From the basic telegraph to analog phones, from the swanky and smart androids and tablets, from terrestrial television to the thin LCD/LED TVs, from the first generation mainframe computers to mini netbooks, the penetration of technology in India has increased multifold over the past decades. Real estate in India is no exception to this technological transformation. With the emergence of Intelligent Buildings, technology has emerged as a critical tool in improving the structure of India’s real estate sector.

Today, the biggest challenge facing facility managers and maintenance engineers in India is to seamlessly integrate all building systems and make them function as a unified entity. Rising energy costs, high maintenance expenditure, less reliance on manual monitoring, the growing complexities of building controls, the mounting pressure on network administrators and facility managers, have all resulted in the quest for a more simple, more user friendly, and more reliable Building Automation System (BAS).

Such a system in an Intelligent Building provides occupiers, building managers, and homeowners, with the ability to use mobile phones or PDAs to remotely control various systems, seamlessly interconnecting technology and work or home life. Today’s Intelligent Buildings have the capability to integrate biometric access control with finger print and cornea recognition, along with automatically initiated fire alarm systems – all with the help of a single core computer. This reinforces the real estate sector’s increased dependence on technology to ensure effective building management solutions in order to achieve sustainable goals.

Traditionally, real estate – a tangible asset, has been marketed as a product in India. However, in recent years, there has been a paradigm shift in the way real estate is positioned and marketed. Space selling in recent times has been perceived by marketers as selling a service rather than a product. Technological advancements in the real estate world could be cited as one of the key reasons for such a change in perception.

Nonetheless, the concept of intelligent buildings is still in its growth phase across office, retail and residential sectors in India despite the country’s geographical immensity and development density. Some of the intelligent buildings in India include – TCIL Bhawan in Greater Kailash-1 (Delhi), IL&FS Centre and Wockhardt Towers in Bandra Kurla Complex (Mumbai), L&T ECC’s Engineering Design and Research Centre (EDRC) in Manapakkam (Chennai), amongst others. On the residential front, Lodha Developers in Mumbai, Total Environment in Bangalore, and Paranjpe Group in Pune, are among those developers who offer smart homes targeted at the luxury segment.

With a steady rise in population along with an increasing urbanisation rate, the focus on technologically advanced developments will enable India to compete with the other mature economies of the world. The fact that nearly eighty percent of what India could be in 2030 is still to be built (McKinsey Research) confirms the potential that the country’s real estate offers on the Building Technology front. However, such a transformation is challenged by cost and will be possible only through proactive policy support by the government in a timely manner.

I believe that ‘now’ is the right time for all the stakeholders of the Indian Real Estate sector to put the strategy in place of offering active participation in a technological metamorphosis which will build an intelligent and sustainable future.

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