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How can we achieve digitised services through construction?

The use of smart technology has surged in the past decade, with the global market doubling in value from $43.4bn in 2017 to an expected $91bn in 2022. From its use in the home to integration in most sectors of the economy from banking to shopping, it’s been adopted to enhance the experience of consumers.

The time is right for local governments, architects and builders to understand the best ways to deploy technology to support health and care needs in a range of environments, and the benefits of considering its inclusion as part of construction design.

Gavin Bashar, UK managing director at Tunstall Healthcare, discusses why technology should be integrated into buildings from the design and specification stage…

A digitally enabled future

Technology has a key role to play in services being delivered in innovative ways, placing citizens at the heart of decision making, and enabling health, housing and care providers to target support where it’s needed most

Using technology to support people is low cost, and helps citizens to live independently for longer with an increased quality of life. Relatively low-cost telecare systems can help to avoid hospital admission, delay and prevent the need for residential care, and reduce carer burnout. Architects and developers therefore have a crucial role to play in driving cost savings, and enhancing the lives of vulnerable service users.

We must lead from the top to ensure buildings have technology integrated at construction to enable stakeholders to support citizens effectively, and provide a platform to make the most of future advances in technology. Too often, technology is considered as an afterthought, rather than a system that can be central to the way the building is lived, used and worked in, and therefore this is pivotal to the way it is designed.

Case study

Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH) and construction firm, Jeakins Weir recently worked together to integrate smart technology into a new innovative housing development comprising eight semi-detached bungalows that will support the independence of young adults with learning disabilities and complex needs.

Smart technology was integrated at the planning stage of the development to provide more person centred support, as well as offering greater insight into how best to allocate resources to meet the needs of the people living there.

The system supports the use of telecare sensors and wearable technology, such as fall detectors, which will automatically raise an alert if help is required, enabling care to be given where and when it is needed, but supporting independence when it isn’t.

The next steps

A healthcare system fit for the 21st century must have digital innovation at its core which is embraced by architects and commissioners. As innovative technology continues to transform every aspect of modern life, there is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the impact this is having on population health and wellbeing.  Where it has not already done so, digitisation is set to touch every corner of health and social care, and in turn this needs to impact upon the way we design and build.

As the UK’s communications network is set to complete its transition from analogue to digital by 2025, technology has an even greater role to play in enhancing the lives of service users. Although this will require significant engagement from architects and builders, it brings a once in a generation opportunity to modernise, improve and shift thinking from a reactive, to a proactive delivery model which can empower users and enable care to become more intelligent and personalised.

Free Analyst Report – Technologies for Sustainable Facility Management

The way we manage our buildings will play an enormous part in achieving a net zero future.

For several years, the global building technology and facility management (FM) market has been going through an unprecedented period of change. The transformation has been driven by a host of mega trends including new business models, technology innovation, sustainability, health and wellbeing, and a new vision for the future workplace.

The time is right to embrace smart, sustainable buildings, new service delivery models and transformational technologies such as IoT and integrated workplace management systems (IWMS) to generate, collect, and manage data.

This report from Frost & Sullivan identifies the top 8 transformational technologies and trends helping shape how organisations approach their building management and operations in a sustainable way.

It also provides insight into how an IWMS can help organisations address their sustainability challenges around the convergence of:

  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
  • Regulatory compliance, Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG)
  • Customer and staff expectations
  • Risk Management
  • Business Objectives
  • Cost Reduction



The forgotten element of Smart Buildings

By Avire

Smart buildings are sometimes referred to as ‘automated buildings‘, ‘intelligent buildings‘ or buildings that incorporate smart technology. A smart building is any structure that uses automated processes to automatically control the building’s operations including heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, and other systems. These buildings typically use sensors, actuators, and microprocessors, to collect and manage data according to a building’s functions and services.

The infrastructure in a smart building allows building owners, operators and facility managers to improve asset reliability and performance. All buildings, no matter the age, can have smart features installed but there is one area that many buildings don’t consider.

Smart Buildings and Lifts

A smart lift does not mean a new lift. With ever-improving technology it is possible to retrofit certain systems and have the data that you need at your fingertips without a disruptive and expensive project to install new lifts.

The Avire Ecosystem uses sensors located within the lift shaft and on the lift car which collect data and provide real time monitoring of the performance. This can provide significant value to the lift maintenance company and Facilities Management, providing more insight into how the lifts are running. This ultimately helps to maintain up-time, to optimise people movement through the building and ensure that this important accessibility route is available for building users.

Lifts that go down for unscheduled maintenance are hugely inconvenient to building users and can catch maintenance personnel off guard. This results in frustration and can make some areas inaccessible to building users. With an effective monitoring solution, facilities managers can keep a close eye on the operational efficiency of the lifts. This means one less concern, knowing that problems with their lifts will be detected early and dealt with swiftly. The Avire Ecosystem can be used for things such as to remotely test lifts before busy periods, to check that emergency telephones are functioning correctly and if light curtains on the doors are fully operational. Other uses include inputs for pit flood sensors and updating of lift displays easily and remotely.