Proptech and the built environment – the future is already here, say Roche Chartered Surveyors

PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 June 2018

Chloe Green, of Roche Chaartered Surveyors. Picture: Contributed

Chloe Green, of Roche Chaartered Surveyors. Picture: Contributed


Chloe Green, of Roche Chartered Surveyors, considers fast-paced developments in the built environment.

Drones are being used for aerial photography and building surveys. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphotoDrones are being used for aerial photography and building surveys. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It has been argued by some that we are about to enter the fourth Industrial Revolution – a technological revolution that has the potential to fundamentally change the world around us and affect many aspects of our lives.

Driverless cars, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology are just some of the emerging technologies which although seem futuristic are already becoming part of the present.

Within the Built Environment, the all-encompassing term for this technological innovation and the impact it has is Property Technology or “Prop-Tech”.

Prop-Tech is becoming an increasingly important topic, and consideration is already being taken as to how it might affect roles in the property industry. Indeed, digital technology is already changing the way in which people work, whether this is through the use of drones for aerial photography and building surveys or automated valuation models which can use mathematical processes to provide an estimate of value independently of any human interaction.

Prop-Tech is not limited to changing how people work, but also where people work.

“Smart buildings”, buildings which have automated technologies, are just one example and can be used to do anything from improving the productiveness of occupants to reducing the buildings carbon footprint.

Out of the workplace, site visits and property viewings may eventually be conducted through the use of virtual reality, so people will no longer be limited by their locality.

Overall, although there are some exciting changes likely to take place in the near future it is important those in the property industry ensure they adapt and move forward to avoid being left in the past.

As Professor Klaus Schwab commented at the World Economic Forum in 2016 on the topic of the fourth Industrial Revolution: “There has never been a time of greater promise, or greater peril.”


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