Climate change and the digitisation of the built environment: Drees & Sommer UK at MIPIM UK

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As the conversation around climate change intensifies and the influence of technology becomes all the more ingrained in everyday life, real estate must play a leading role through leading by example. Drees & Sommer UK’s Managing Director, Phil Ratcliffe and Head of Engineering, Marco Abdallah, both took part in panels at MIPIM UK, alongside leading real estate experts, to discuss where the built environment is heading in an age of artificial intelligence and a greater emphasis on sustainability than ever before. Phil Ratcliffe took part in a panel titled ‘Digital transformation of the built environment: how is tech changing the human experience of buildings and cities’. The group was made up of key decision-makers who discussed the growing influence of proptech and innovations in the built environment, including smart buildings and digitisation. Among the themes that were explored included proptech trends that will shape the industry in years to come, as well as the support required to ensure Britain keeps it focus on innovation. Phil Ratcliffe said: “One of the biggest challenges for us is how do we get this new stock into an old environment? London is an old city, we had to go through a transition period for the digital age which newer cities haven’t had to face.”

Marco Abdallah joined the conversation around sustainability during a panel titled ‘The climate change debate: Sustainable development and carbon-neutral cities.’ The group discussed what international cities are doing to achieve effective reductions in carbon emissions, as well as how they work more closely together to meet goals more efficiently and effectively. Marco Abdallah said: “The challenges that face cities, in terms of technology and sustainability, is that most tech initiatives because they’re not user-friendly. The user has to accept technology. The next generation is much more open technology. I believe that this will make a very big change. “A building in London typically consumes twice the energy it was designed to consume. It’s absolutely necessary that the regulation in the UK for sustainability has to be prioritised. The only solution I can see is a circular economy.”

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