Digital transformation of real estate industry


Digital transformation of real estate industry

Although digital transformation has been disrupted almost all types of business, but the real estate industry is slow – traditionally keep pace with The Times according to the recently organized by the urban land institute (ULI) of Hong Kong’s second session of the Asia Pacific leadership seminar) and the world economy BBS (WEF).

BBS of the world economy – the world economy BBS conference chairman Nicholas Brooke (Nicholas Brooke) said: “we are close to a turning point in the world, the digital transformation is the field of real estate industry should not be ignored.

In computer aided design, new building materials and technology development, and the application of augmented reality marketing solutions, a large number of innovative technology is starting to attract attention, the industry may have a profound impact.

Participants emphasized some examples include absorbing materials technology and potentially revolutionary progress, for example, using the mushroom derived or calcium bacteria secrete organic additive, so building “grow” or repair. But while this progress is promising, it is still evolving.

The rise of the building information model (BIM),

One area where developers are more certain is the potential of new software design tools to manage the construction work, and one participant said: “this is where the magic spell is – it will change the way it is done.”

The biggest traction is the building information model (BIM), which replaces the traditional hard copy blueprint with three-dimensional computer modeling. The system combined with a handheld device is simple to use, allowing the field application of this concept, compared with traditional paper-based system, the system has advantages, to help architects and contractors cooperation more easily, and instant changes to existing design.

The new karolinska hospital in BIM

The workshop discussed the construction of the new 12,000 new karolinska hospital in Sweden, which is by far the largest public-private hospital project in the world. Its entire very complex design is implemented using the BIM platform.

BIM has also been used in the work of the new karolinska for overall facility management. Because the BIM model will all construction data of the hospital in a single project, managers know immediately what materials used in any part of the building, which parts in which part, and exactly what parts will be needed to fix the given equipment failure.

In addition, the hospital is embedded with the sensors in the structure, in order to use BIM as an address book, guide a team consists of 29 autonomous vehicles, every day in the entire facility in dealing with a total of 1600 events are delivered.

Precast technology

Prefabricate is another mature technology gradually popularized. In Singapore, developers have been forced to accelerate the adoption of prefabricated technology, as government policies require builders to increase productivity to reduce the number of foreign workers employed in the industry.

In Hong Kong, rising Labour costs also presage an increasingly attractive option – despite the relatively small size of the local market, there are still challenges in economies of scale.

Elsewhere, however, Labour costs in emerging Asia have been low, meaning that pre-production is often considered uncompetitive.

One participant said: “the art is to break down the prefabricated pieces into small pieces that can be mass-produced in a number of different types of buildings, not just project-by-project.

“The problem with prefabrication is one project at a time. So you have to make components can be used in multiple projects, these components have occurred in the components such as Windows, but when its extension to each component, the change of the design will have more, because now a computer can sort through these different components, elastic design in a timely manner, “he added.

The obstacles to digital transformation

There are many reasons for the slow pace of change in real estate, the workshop said.

One participant noted that the building’s service life was long: “a 60-year building may not have a high-speed elevator and all the hubbub,” he said, “but it’s not useless. This means that the life of the building is very elastic, which is one of the reasons why the technology is developing so slowly. ”

Another big obstacle to progress is resistance to the status quo. A developer that is responsible for the personalization of architects tend to boycott was the attitude of the idea, because they are more like the convenience of standardized design, rather than dealing with so many individual participants. And even if technology costs continue to fall, contractors remain reluctant to invest in new technologies.


The biggest obstacle, however, is that regulation remains the biggest obstacle to change. Supervision is the height of the building industry in Asia “to ensure that the needs of the construction safety, creating deep bureaucratic roots, a by-product of this culture is the widely used new technology needs to the existing building codes and the approval process for large-scale changes”.

It is a daunting task in a world where bureaucratic thinking is generally lagging and there is no reason to impose new rules. In a handful of markets, notably Singapore, the government has encouraged the industry to embrace new technology, “bureaucratic inertia is invisible hand control change”.

In Hong Kong, for example, prohibit change, until the occupancy permit, cannot be custom means walking, suitable for mixing and building the desire also controlled partition of the building system with multiple functions.

While most participants to persuade regulators to adapt existing stipulation framework’s short-term prospects hold quite pessimistic attitude, but a person think, consumer pressure may cause based on specifications from the current way of thinking into more based on the performance of this technology can monitor the building performance. “


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