Towards a Net-Zero Goal: How Proptechs are Promoting Sustainability

The built environment contributes to 70% of energy consumption in the UAE. Given that the lifespan of a building can be several decades, the environmental impact of building management can be considerable. In fact, this cost can increase as buildings age. The solution, therefore, lies in the efficient management of built spaces. This is why sustainability has emerged as the biggest buzzword in real estate, particularly in property management. 

In the UAE, Owners Association Management and property managers have taken up the initiative, partnering with apartment management automation companies like ANACITY to streamline governance and leverage resources in a sustainable fashion. Building automation has led the wave of innovations and changes that will further take us closer to achieving net-zero emission goals. 

Smart buildings for smart consumption

Maintaining sustainable built areas will depend mostly on curtailing our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) consumption. Depending on people to curb overconsumption is rarely effective. Smart buildings aim to bridge this gap by leveraging embedded technology. The emergence of the Internet of Things has spurred this development, leading to innovations that will be instrumental in automating energy consumption. 

Smart buildings today use embedded systems and technologies like sensors, actuators, and other IoT-based devices to control energy usage. This is further augmented by apartment managers through AI/ML-based automated building management systems that leverage data collation and communication to monitor energy usage. 

Smart technologies win over legacy monitoring systems by triggering an in-built mechanism to curb overconsumption. For instance, smart sensors can be configured to switch off AC units once the ideal temperature is reached. Similarly, smart lighting systems are synced with mobility sensors in low-movement areas. These solutions ensure optimal resource utilization without impacting resident comfort.

Resource optimisation 

The other wave of change in proptech will be coming in the realm of optimal resource management. As we move towards a circular economy in real estate management, the needle of innovation is moving towards reusing, recycling, and refurbishing existing materials. For instance, innovation in water management through wastewater recycling and water reuse is aimed at creating a self-sustainable cycle where at least part of the total consumption can be met on-site.

Similarly, on-site energy production solutions such as rooftop solar panels, ground and air source heat pumps, battery storage, and bioenergy are picking up momentum as builders and property managers increasingly move towards renewable energy sources. Innovation in this field is further driven by investor interests with green energy attracting favourable ESG parameters. 

Proptech & data analytics

Finally, how do we tie up these different strands in an integrated approach to reduce the carbon footprint of the real estate industry? The answer lies in data-driven apartment management solutions like ANACITY. As a platform that forms the operational backbone, it collates data to give us invaluable insight into our consumption patterns. It also provides an avenue to execute our policies through effective communication. 

For OAMs, automation has been instrumental in executing smart asset and facility maintenance. A centralised admin dashboard facilitates data overview and monitoring in multi-property management. It creates digital twins of our built environment that can enable predictive maintenance, improve connectivity, and automate energy utilisation. In short, it empowers property managers to establish sustainable consumption while elevating living standards.