Digitising the Real Estate Industry for Future-Proof Cities

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Drees & Sommer APAC announce their local initiative that focuses on streamlining the digital transformation of construction practices using digital solutions to finance sustainable construction that ensures the long-term endurance of economies and the environment.

Internationally renowned real estate consultancy company Drees & Sommer celebrated 19 years in Asia with the recent opening of a new office in Singapore. The German consultancy was founded in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1970 and has been leading innovation for over 50 years. Today, the company continues to lead the way with digital and sustainable initiatives to transform the industry and ensure the sustainable development of the real estate sector.

In alignment with the ongoing World Cities Summit 2022 Singapore, The theme of which is “Liveable and Sustainable Cities: Emerging Stronger”, Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for National Development, shared in his opening speech that; “as a nation, Singapore is looking to emerge stronger, more resilient, and more prepared for the future.” The summit strongly focuses on topics like Climate Change, Sustainable Financing, Smart Cities, Development and Planning, Urban Resilience, and Future Cities.

As the world is witnessing an unprecedented climate crisis, governments and climate-conscious leaders are calling on all industries to change their processes and practices to ensure a safe and climate-positive future. The construction industry needs to change; however, change often comes at an increased cost. Stephan Degenhart, Associate Partner and Managing Director of Asia Pacific, actively attending the summit, shares insights into a solution through digitising processes during the planning and construction phases to finance sustainable initiatives. 

Securing finances for sustainable construction methods has proved to be the biggest hurdle for new developments, even with the emergence of green loans and sustainable bonds. Degenhart explains: “The financial burden often falls back on the developing entity and can become unmanageable resulting in significant losses or non-sustainable stranded assets. When it comes to sustainable development, true transformation comes about only when digital and sustainable solutions are combined. Streamlining digital processes could save up to 45% of project costs that can be re-invested in sustainable solutions. The entire value chain becomes future-proof at no additional capital investment. 

- So, the question arises: how would developers justify potential expenditure on future-proof solutions? The answer lies in transforming the existing cost structure through digitisation; using processes to save costs on ongoing projects means freeing up capital to be invested in climate-friendly initiatives, methods, products and materials. This will make meaningful change and ensure that sustainable and environmentally friendly products and processes get incorporated without causing economic damage.”

He continues: “In a recent Drees & Sommer survey, 91% of respondents said digitisation would have a medium to high impact on the real estate sector. The purpose of digitisation has moved quickly across sectors making human life more manageable and building end-users more comfortable. Operating smart buildings digitally saves energy and prevents unnecessary waste, but focusing on digital solutions in the design and planning phases can keep entire developments from becoming obsolete in this fast-moving environmental economy.”

Degenhart concludes by recommending that all developers involve a digitisation and sustainability consultant that can outline and structure projects to their fullest potential, ensuring financial stability and securing return on investment while future-proofing buildings that make for intelligent and sustainable cities.

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Drees & Sommer: Your Innovative Partner for Consulting, Planning, Construction and Operation

The leading European Consulting, Planning and Project Management enterprise, Drees & Sommer has supported private and public clients and investors in all aspects of real estate and infrastructure – both analog and digital – for over 50 years. With pioneering and future-oriented consulting, Drees & Sommer offers solutions for successful buildings, high-yield real estate portfolios, livable cities, and efficient infrastructure. Over 4,000 interdisciplinary professionals based at 46 locations worldwide provide clients with a wide range of services across multiple sectors and take into consideration digital, sustainable, innovative, and economic aspects for successful project delivery. Drees & Sommer calls this holistic approach ‘the blue way’.