Technology brings buildings back to life

Landlords – understanding new technology is crucial to attract and retain tenants, but certain old buildings might be getting a new ‘lease of life’

You might have thought that some of your offices were no longer ‘up to spec’ and getting close to their ‘sell by date’ – and if not precisely ‘a sale’, then maybe a major refurbishment or new construction. In a word the dreaded ‘obsolescence’ – newer, smarter, more efficient and flexible offices putting your long-trusted but old ‘out of spec’ performers ‘on the shelf’, and giving you the headache of major capital reinvestment.  But maybe not; for a saviour could be at hand in the form of fast-moving technology developments that have a real potential to put older buildings ‘back into play’ if the location is right.

How?  Well ‘wireless’ has certainly cut down a few wires, yet more impacting is new 12V electrical technology which will remove the need for large cabling and raised floors to a certain extent – and much further down the line ‘wireless electricity’, which will radically change electrical infrastructure.  And then there is ‘cloud computing’ which will emancipate space once consumed by IT servers. So, more space ‘freed-up’ but less required, and fewer restrictions from tenants and old technology. New ‘collaborative’ and ‘mobile’ technologies have also led to a more flexible occupier approach. Smartphones and tablets in break-out and chill-out zones show that tenants are driven by intensifying workspace utilisation and reducing overall requirements. Buildings, old and new, that are flexible and technology-friendly (and in the right location) will win out. Yet, they will only do so if they are sustainable and complying not with just legislation but with tenants who will accept nothing less – they will be increasingly obsolete if not!

Embracing new technology is therefore critical. But beware the short-term hype (offices are not dead!), consider the long-term implications, see and join in on what we’re saying in Offices 2020*, and act soon to keep ahead in the game.

[*Offices 2020 is an ongoing thought-leadership initiative from Jones Lang LaSalle looking at the future of offices across EMEA].