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Week three of the month-long Digital International Built Environment Week (IBEW) 2020 was dedicated to digitalisation and innovation efforts within the sector. With COVID-19 as both a key disruptor and catalyst, enterprises are taking the digitalisation leap and accelerating their journey towards industry transformation.

Highlights of the week included a look at the latest digital technologies – from digital twin solutions to generative design technologies, surveillance robots and smart buildings. Whether it is out of pandemic necessity or part of a longer-term roadmap to resilience, digital adoption has been set in motion in all corners of the built environment sector.

Can Covid Fuel Innovation?

Moderated by Architect Jin Sung, Executive Director, ID Architects, the session on 15 September brought together guest speakers Mr Phil Langley, Director, Creative Technologies, Bryden Wood, Mr Nicolas Mangon, Vice President of Architecture, Business and Construction (Business Strategy and Marketing), Autodesk and Mr Tushar Nath, Digital Innovation Lead, Soilbuild Construction Group to discussed how digital innovations could help enterprises evolve, especially in the post-COVID era.

With metrics such as air quality and safe distancing taking precedence due to the pandemic, organisations could turn to data as a source for automated and generative design technologies. Bryden Wood and Autodesk shared examples of how data could shape design and help decision-makers solve challenges such as office layout, air ventilation and  the planning of highways and schools. Soilbuild also showcased its Common Data Environment, a single-sourced data repository which serves to enhance collaboration among its stakeholders.

Smarter Buildings As a Catalyst For Change

Once considered a functional role, Facilities Management (FM) is now more than that, tasked to evolve and meet new experiential and sustainability demands. Moderated by Mr Tony Khoo, Chief Executive Officer, EM Services and President, Singapore International Facility Management Association, this session focused on digitalisation within the Facilities Management industry, with Smart FM as a core pivot for the sector.

Panellists Ms Sylvie Ouziel, International President, Envision Digital, Mr John Carrillo, Immediate Past Board Chairman, International Facility Management Association and Mr Alvin Ng, Vice President, Digital Solutions APAC, Johnson Controls agreed on the new realities facing the built environment sector – the rise of telecommuting, data analytics, and the importance of occupant wellness.

In response to these challenges, Ms Ouziel shared how a system-of-systems approach, with true machine to machine (M2M) automation of buildings on a fleet level, would enable enterprises to detect global trends and react quickly. Mr Ng also shared his company’s blueprint for Smart FM with a suite of solutions and collaborations with other partners that provide a holistic view of human-centric, connected spaces that are also safe and secure.

Digital Technologies Trends in the Built Environment Sector

The session moderated by Mr Lau Shih Hor, Councillor and Chairman, SGTech Smart Nation Chapter saw a gathering of industry players from the digital built environment ecosystem to share insights on the latest technology trends in the sector.

Mr Mitul Shah, Associate Director, KPMG Singapore, kicked off the discussion with his survey of key technologies with mid-term impact such as Internet-of-Things (IoT), Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence, converging into a Digital Twin solution. Recommendations for the sector included nurturing the skillsets and culture for digitalisation to thrive.

Ms Sara Pereira, Director, Oneberry Technologies and Mr Mohammad Dzulakmal Bin Abu Bakar, Vice President of Solutions, Graffiquo also took turns to walk through the innovative digital solutions developed by our local tech companies – from a security robot and anomaly recognition video analytics system to a 3D visual digital twin dashboard for cities.

Further fielding questions from the floor were Ms Sybil Tan, Director, KPMG, Mr Liong Yuen Ming, Chief Technology Officer, BCA and Mr Liau Eng Soon, Cluster Director, Sectoral Transformation, Infocomm Media Development Authority. These panellists shared ways on how different players could move forward with platforms such as the BuildSG-COVIDSafe Platform (CSP) as well as grants and schemes to support companies on their digital journey.

International Built Environment Week 2020: Emerging Stronger through Innovation

From digitalisation and sustainability to advanced construction and smart facilities management, be a part of the global discussion on the built environment’s trends and industry updates today. Sign up for IBEW online now – registration is free.