This past Thursday (October 13, 2016) I was fortunate enough to attend the DisruptCRE conference in Boston MA. For those of you who are unfamiliar DisruptCRE is a one-day, annual conference focused on (1) introducing commercial real estate (CRE) professions to new technologies and (2) connecting those CRE professionals with the people behind the tech. DisruptCRE put together a fantastic group of product and service vendors as well as educational panel discussions.
Why is it important to the industry?
The hot topic for this year’s panel discussions was smart data and the importance of analyzing and comparing dissimilar data collections. It wasn’t too long ago that buildings couldn’t talk to us. Buildings couldn’t tell us much more than our monthly utility bills. Today we have many systems in place able to collect very specific data points –energy efficiency, lighting output, indoor air quality, internet usage, tenant satisfaction, etc. The challenge is no longer gathering the data, but how to generate an actionable outcome with the data collected.
It was a bit overwhelming actually, the unanimous appeal from each panelist for more interoperability between the various data applications. No one computer program, no one phone application, no one user friendly interface, no one-stop solution exists today that can compare individual data collections to the next. There’s a need for a common platform to allow these applications to work together. I can’t begin to imagine what the finance, real estate, developer, design, and construction industries could be if we were all making smarter decisions.
Why is it important to you?
For those of you in Virtual Design + Construction, I apologize for my next remark. As the resident “BIM guy” (again, I apologize), I am expected to not only be knowledgeable but also capable of producing any and all virtual deliverables available in the D+C industry today. Often times I’m working with two, three, and even four different technologies to generate one deliverable. Attending conferences, such as DisruptCRE, dedicated to connecting professionals with emerging technologies is a fantastic way to identify new ways to marry technologies together. Additionally, tech startups are looking to partner with industry professionals to pioneer new ways to utilize and often enhance their product. Do not underestimate the power of collaboration.
If you are involved in the architecture, engineering or construction industry, I recommend checking out the annual DisruptCRE conference and meeting like-minded people or meeting vendors who are trying to disrupt the industry.