Property District and Proptech Ireland were delighted to welcome the team from UK publisher  PlaceTech to Ireland as they hosted a tremendous event about the latest innovations and tech adoption in property as part of their Trend Talk series. Aimed at bringing the property and tech communities together to discuss the latest innovations and research in proptech, attendees were promised a morning of leading industry professionals from the real estate and construction sectors to mingle with the country’s leading tech and digital experts.

Registration and networking started early with Paul Unger, editor of PlaceTech welcoming attendees to the event before Carol Tallon, CEO of Property District and founder of PropTech Ireland welcomed attendees to the event and talked about the key proptech trends as 2020 (separate article about this to follow!).

Michael Guerin, programme manager at Smart Docklands spoke about the smart city technology and the smart docklands network. Michael told the audience about the smart city solutions that are solving some of Dublin’s problems. He spoke about Gully spy that could tell when drains were blocked so they could respond to heavy rain warnings by unblocking full drains easily. Michael talked about the bins in Dublin, the Bigbelly bin and how it stands apart from the basic litter can. It can crush the waste inside and the solar panel on its head generates energy, and lets bin collectors know when it’s full. This allows the bin collectors to not spend hours checking bins as they go directly to the bins that are full! Michael also mentioned cycling technology as the city tries to become more cycle friendly. Finally, Michael said autonomous scooters are on the way ‘sooner than you think’.

Next up was Michael Purcell, senior property management surveyor at JLL who spoke about the user experience of proptech and in particular, Equiem. Equiem is a global leader in tenant experience but he said he wanted to talk about trends that are coming down the track too. He spoke about drone technology, drone deliveries and if homes would have shoots for delivery via drones. He also spoke about JLL’s spark investment and recognising trends was important to deliver innovation and grow startups in the proptech space. JLL are currently working with Equiem to improve their tenant experience and as Equiem is is the most widely adopted and proven platform in the market, it is easy to see why JLL are embracing this platform.

Simon Whelan, chief operating officer at FenestraPro was next to take to the stage and FenestraPro provides a range of BIM-based software that guides and supports the design of energy-efficient façades, bringing the design back to the designer. FenestraPro for Revit considers the environmental performance of your façade against regional standards in real-time. With FenestraPro’s BIM-based software, the team will make informed design decisions on building performance, prove compliance throughout the design process, and eliminate late-stage redesign. The main takeaway from Simon’s talk was how the innovation of glass is so important as buildings are being designed with more glass and need to have excellent performance.

After Simon Whelan had wrapped up his presentation then the previous speakers took to the stage for a panel discussion that was full of insights from the panellists. The main thoughts were that the industry needs to think ahead and meet the demands of people to stay ahead. The morning then took a coffee break before returning for the rest of the days speakers.

Vishal Shah, investment associate at U+I. U+I is a property developer and investor focused on regeneration and Vishal spoke about their strong partnerships. They have built a close and trusted network of partners over the years to bring together the best people and to continue to innovate. Vishal spoke about the responsibility that good property developers had and how placemaking was vital. He also talked about championing proptech innovators and investing in the built environment with a special focus on digital tools for placemaking (like PLACEengage.com!).

Karen Muldowney, business development manager at Shapoorji Pallonji talked to attendees about what Shapoorji Pallonji do and how the group has grown over the years. Shapoorji Pallonji is currently present in over 70 countries globally, including 20 countries across the Middle East and Africa (MEA). Karen spoke about modular construction and how it is the future of construction and once again she reiterated the points from previous speakers that innovation was key. Karen also spoke about the abilities of Shapoorji Pallonji and how they have a specialised BIM design team based in Dubai but that they still would use local talent and experience in Ireland.

Lauren Poon, head of digital at CallisonRTKL inspired the audience with her talk on better outcomes on experimental architects. Lauren noted that measuring where people go was important so that people could predict future use and use the places to create better benefits. She said that being innovative was key and increasing the ‘what ifs?’ was required. Lauren spoke about collaboration and how hard it is to include all stakeholders but she shared an interesting story on Apollo 11 and how that project required collaboration of 20,000 universities, companies and countries to be a success.

Final discussion

Panel Discussion for the last part included previous speakers, Vishal Shah, Karen Muldowney, Laureen Poon as well as Joanne Geary, director of customer experience and innovation at Sherry Fitzgerald and Doug Ward, co-founder of Node. The panel started with Joanne Geary talking about innovation with Sherry FitzGerald and how they have innovated to compliment their estate agents. It started with finding out what customers wanted and knowing that they needed to be able to access information at antisocial hours and be able to book appointments online as well as bid online. It was a huge amount of work to get the innovation and investment across the line but something Joanne believes in however; she said she still thinks the estate agent is needed as part of the customer experience.

Doug Ward spoke about connectivity in buildings and how many buildings were built way before the internet! He said everyone should get node in their building as Node enables landlords to upgrade their buildings connectivity.

Closing Remarks came from Paul Unger, editor of PlaceTech who thanked everyone for coming along and invited them to join everyone for lunch before they headed off to work.

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