kg of coffee
Smart or friendly? What should new buildings be like?
“The term ‘Smart Buildings’ has become an empty buzzword. It often refers to technologies that users do not want to, or do not know how to, use. This is why we do not talk about Smart Buildings; we believe that buildings should be mostly pleasant and user-friendly.” Josef Šachta, co-founder and CEO of Sharry Europe, explains the genesis of the name of the conference. This company is one of the PropTech leaders in the Czech Republic and was the general partner of the event.
“Innovation” was perhaps the most frequently mentioned word at the conference. Whether in the form of robotic workers, virtual reality or biometric scanners of the blood stream that are used to check people entering buildings. The major innovation for the entire field is the Czech & Slovak PropTech Association that was officially announced at the conference.
The main mission of the association is to interconnect real estate professionals focusing on new technologies with partner projects of the new segment PropTech. This platform was founded by Locco, RentRocket and Sharry Europe.
One conference - four topics
At the beginning of the conference, architect Vladimír Mašinský presented his perspective on current development changes, including bold visions such as co-living, i.e. living in shared apartments. Filip Muška from CBRE also outlined his vision of the near future. New offices should be designed based on people’s needs and wishes in particular, Ivo Hrdina from JuiceUp pointed out.
The second thematic bloc brought several perspectives on technological solutions for how employees, visitors and cars could enter buildings. Will we continue to open offices with a plastic card or smartphone or will our employer scan the blood stream in our palm? The answer to this question was provided by Kamil Targalski from HID Global, Martin Maxa and Tomáš Vejr from ČSOB and Lukáš Hefka, a Smartiple representative.
We have resolved the building entry. Once we are inside, how and with what can we interact in the room? Šimon Opekar from Techo described the current evolution of the work environment and outlined the future direction that – it seems – will be dominated by flexibility. Will we be greeted by robotic receptionists, as Gorjan Lazarov presented on the example of the interactive robot Pepper? A smart office also means smart lighting. Its benefits were pointed out by Boris Zupančič from Philips Lighting.
A shared economy is currently one of the major topics around the world. However, you do not have to share only a place in a car (see Uber) or an available room (see Airbnb); office buildings can also share e.g. the “magic” Laundrybox where you put your dirty laundry and pick it up clean later on. Shared offices, which were presented at the conference by Karel Pelán from IWG, represent a separate topic. He also announced the arrival of the coworking chain Spaces at Prague.
The conference ended with a final panel discussion (its live broadcasting is available on Facebook). The developers’ arguments and opinions during the discussion were represented by Alexandra Tomášková (CEO of Skanska Property) and Pavel Streblov (Commercial Business Director, Penta Real Estate). Jana Straková, office manager of EYELEVEL, provided her idea of what ideal offices should look like. The perspective of real estate investors was provided by Tomáš Fiala from the Invesco Real Estate Fund.
First-hand innovation experience
The Friendly Buildings conference, held under the auspices of the Czech Green Building Council, also included a small fair of innovative solutions for the work environment. Visitors could try smart office furniture, a smart coffeemaker controlled by a mobile application or virtual reality.
"I think a lot of ideas and start-ups or perhaps companies we cannot treat as start-ups anymore have their brains here in Prague and they are expanding not just into Western Europe but also in the US so I am proud to say we are among the top level in this area,“ Tomáš Fiala assessed the current situation.
Sharry Europe, the general partner of the conference whose products are used by people in five European countries, serves as a good example. “We meet many people and firms whose technology we integrate into our platform. The Friendly Buildings conference should play the same role – it should interconnect people and offer a space for sharing opinions and practical examples of how to create the best possible buildings and work environment. People actually spend 80-90% of their time inside a building,” adds Josef Šachta from Sharry.
The conference outlined several visions of where PropTech should go at least in Central Europe.
“I look forward to reviewing these plans at the next conference in 2019. I look forward to a new dose of inspiration. And I look forward to seeing all PropTech friends,” concluded Josef Šachta.
See you in 2019!
In the media
Finally a meaningful conference after such a long time. The smart and logical structuring of the topics was interesting even to those who aren’t involved in real estate business. The conference allowed me to get a glimpse of the sometimes scary future organization of our private and work life. More events like that please.
Customer Experience Manager, Direct
The first year of the conference was very diverse. I was surprised by the broad range of the discussed topics and I also appreciated the interesting guests and their viewpoints. I’m looking forward to the next year!
Key Application Manager, Saint-Gobain Construction Products CZ / Ecophon
The first year went quite well. I found some topics more interesting than others. As far as the speakers and the content of their lectures are concerned, the conference was of very high quality and I believe it has great potential. Overall the conference introduced many inspiring ideas, which we are thankful for, and we are looking forward to the next year.
Workplace Strategies Lead, CBRE s.r.o.
I’m glad I could be a part of the first of the Friendly Buildings conference, because I got to meet many interesting people, who are very well versed in their fields. I am a big supporter of well organized conferences, that offer a rich program to the visitors. The Friendly Buildings conference was definitely one of them, and it’ll be wonderful if they continue the tradition!
Business Development Manager , Techo a.s.
Do we really need innovations?
Goals and visions for the commercial real estate sector.
The beginning of the conference will be focused on the important question that is “Why are we all here? Are the innovations really that crucial?” This time our interest will shrink into the commercial sector only. Our speakers will share their practical experiences and visions of what should we do better.
How to get in and out?
The future of access and parking.
Every building needs an access point, right? Actually there are a few access points depending on how you are entering the building – on foot or by car. It could be a neverending story of searching for different plastic cards or it could be cool and smooth. Lets hear more about it.
How to interact with your office?
Smart office trends and news.
We all spend a lot of time in our offices. If the office is smart, it can almost talk to you. It can be helpful, save you time and you can actually start liking it. Maybe it would be nice to hear about how spending time at work can be cool…
- Boris Zupančič
- Philips Lighting CZ
- Enterprise Business Development CEE & RCA | Executive Director
From global to local sharing
Cool services in your building.
We share the planet, we share countries, cities, offices… Well, basically we share a lot of things. But there are still some more cool services that we could share locally to save time, money or just to have fun…
- Josef Šachta
- Sharry Europe
Final panel discussion
So when will the buildings be friendly?
We have four huge topics here and it would be kind of nice to hear some interesting people discussing them altogether at the end of the day.
- Alexandra Tomášková
- Skanska Property Czech Republic, s.r.o.
- Managing Director
- Tomáš Fiala
- Invesco Real Estate
- Senior Director - Asset Management, Head of Prague office
- Jana Straková
- Office/Relocation project manager
- Pavel Streblov
- Penta Real Estate
- Commercial Business Director