Expert Talk on Customized Smart Buildings: Digitization creates a positive impact on people, environment and business

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“The future is digital and Smart Buildings are the future!” Digitization: there is no getting away from it in 2020. But what does it  mean for smart real estate? What is the use of  intelligent buildings, what kind of returns can  you expect? Together with four experts and a selected group of guests we discussed the benefits of Smart Buildings at our Expert Talk on 19 February 2020 in Eindhoven.

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Added value

A day before our event, it was the grand opening of the  remarkable cube berlin project. Like the smartest building in The Netherlands (The Edge in Amsterdam), cube berlin is currently among the most advanced building in terms of digitization in Europe. Smart Building experts from Drees & Sommer contributed to the realization of the project in Berlin. The building contains 5,000 sensors, controlled by a single app, which allows the building to recognize the requirements of its users and tailor operations to  meet their needs. Ultimately, it is not about the number of sensors, but about the added value of the technology for the user.

Major leap forward

As digital technologies advance, the requirements for managing real estate more efficiently are growing. Data that can be generated from real estate brings a success factor for asset and real estate management and creates new business models. What are the issues in the development, realization, operation and recycling of real estate where digitization can provide a major leap forward?

Four experts

During the Expert Talk, we introduced our guests to our vision and experiences in the field of digitalized real estate. Four speakers - Klaus Dederichs, Norman Meyer, Salla Lardot from Drees & Sommer, and Thijs Meulen from the Eindhoven University of Technology - inspired the attendees with exciting project examples, rewarding  results and lessons learned. It culminated into aa lively  debate on  user privacy, the transformation process of  a smart building and why focus on the end-users is key.

Abstract keynote speakers

Klaus Dederichs

Klaus Dederichs, Head of ICT at Drees & Sommer, opened the session with a presentation on Customized Smart Buildings. "So far, the real estate sector has mainly focused on the value of square metres for management, leasing or transactions. But data creates a whole world of  possibilities! We can create new business models like Uber and Airbnb; companies that flourish by connecting through data".

Building as a human body

How do we create a smart building? By handling it as a human body. Not just with skin to protect it from external influences but with a brain that communicates with sensory organs  like eyes, ears and nerves. "All building data is connected to an AI powered ‘brain’ which generates new knowledge." This not only guarantees user comfort but also enables significant savings in management with a focus on new business models.

Technology at our service

Due to the rapid development of technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G, we can realize self-thinking or intelligent buildings. "But we have to ensure that we do not allow technology to lead the process. Technology must always revolve around the experience of the user".


Norman Meyer

How to integrate multiple data sources? Norman Meyer, Head of Digital Services at Drees & Sommer, dived into the MOSAIX tool. Throughout the entire life cycle of a building, a lot of data is being generated. During development and construction, as well as during operation and recycling, many different data systems from different stakeholders are active that create all kinds of data.

Digital twin

MOSAIX offers a data ecosystem with different dashboards in which relevant information comes together e.g. a building owner, a facilities manager or a technical manager. From the cockpit, well-founded decisions can be made based on data and benchmarks.  With MOSAIX, an overall digital twin of the building is created as it were, with the knowledge of all stakeholders, whilst established tools and databases continue to exist.


Salla Lardot

Head of UX and Workplace Consulting at Drees & Sommer Netherlands, Salla Lardot, shifted the focus from data to people. From Maslow's well-known Pyramid of Human Needs, she explained the influence of technology on the User Experience (UX). The younger millennials  who are now starting their professional  careers, are used to hyper-personalization. Thus, a building has to offer more than the standard requirements. It's all about personal needs, positive experiences and emotional well-being.

Frictionless working day

"Every user has different needs and desires. So standard services are not the solution, it is a matter of offering a multitude of solutions and choices. Buildings are the largest physical canvases for your brand, allowing you to influence the experience of your employees and your clients". Technology allows us to respond to all those personal needs, ensuring a comfortable and frictionless working day. Comfort and convenience stimulate focus, co-creation and innovation.


Thijs Meulen

According to the BREEAM list, the renovated Atlas building (1963) on the TU Eindhoven campus is currently one of the most sustainable educational buildings worldwide. Thijs Meulen, Advisor on Energy Management and Automation, explained how this result was achieved.

From lighting source to information source

Thanks to the innovative façade, the building -  free of natural gas - has been able to reduce energy demand drastically. The smart lighting system not only saves energy and CO2, but also provides data about the use of the building. As a result of this sustainable and smart renovation, the CO2 emissions of the building have been reduced by about 80 percent, while the number of users has more than doubled.