David has over 30 years’ experience in the property market, spanning delivery of large-scale national projects to working with startups to expedite market traction. Previous roles include: head of commercial lettings for Pearl and Coutts, and head of property for Hyperoptic, where he forged hundreds of developer partnerships to enable the company to scale its hyperfast network across the whole of the UK. He joined Beringar in 2021 as its first chief revenue officer.
How did you become involved in the Smart Buildings industry?
As a surveyor of some 35 years, I have always been involved in corporate real estate from a landlord or occupier perspective. However, my former role as head of property at the broadband company ‘Hyperoptic’ highlighted the need to transmit data faster than before and with this paradigm being firmly established there was a growing need to collect and collate data on the built environment in a meaningful way as well. Doing this, as Beringar, we are able to deliver data to monitor occupancy and address cost efficiency, wellness and the drive to net zero carbon for all building stakeholders.
What excites you about the Smart Buildings industry?
It must be the art of the possible. As good data is collected so the machine learning can help us evolve our usage and provide more productive and better suited environments to our workforce whilst protecting the natural world. Currently, real estate represents 10% of business spending, but the vast majority of businesses have little metrics by which to measure the RoI of this spend. With smart building technologies, they can fundamentally change the way they manage their space – this has never been more important, given that the whole notion of the ‘office’ has changed with the global shift to hybrid-working.
Are there any particular technologies that we should be aware of?
Well from a biased perspective, I would have to say that the advancements in sensor technologies is one to watch! Our HX series sensors offer the widest range of sensing with indoor air quality, indoor climate, sound and light levels collected simultaneously with occupancy data. Other interesting technologies are the trials that are taking place with augmented reality communications – there’s a huge new market with aligning the virtual (i.e. remote workers) with the physical space of the office, and I think we are just at the tip of the iceberg with developments in that space.
What services does your organisation offer?
We are a Sensors as a Service company deploying a class leading sensor that was designed and built for the job. We monitor and analyse occupational use and patterns as well as measuring 15 datapoints covering the air quality and environmental conditions within the built environment.
Are people aware of the regulations that they will need to comply with in the near future?
Everyone has been rightly focussed on keeping personnel safe and assured in this return-to-work period. However, as we learn to live with the virus, businesses are rightly going to widen their focus on new regulations that are coming down the pipeline – as well as aligning with industry best practice. For example, the Government targets set to reach Net Carbon Zero are set to have a huge impact on those who are not ready and preparing now – and this topic is only to get more important with time.
What are the benefits of a smart building?
Smart buildings never sleep or go on holiday. The use of technology will facilitate, enable and enhance our interaction with the built environment. Benefits are seen in wellness standards, adhering to compliance, efficiencies and the comparative data required to set and follow carbon net zero journeys effectively – all cia commonality of performance and measurement metrics.
Who has been the biggest influence in your career?
Whilst working on my MBA thesis I came across a Harvard professor whose mantras included “what gets measured gets done”. I thought it over simplistic at the time but live by it now.
What is the question you are most often asked in your business life?
Where did you get your MBA?
What are the best/worst things about your job?
I thoroughly enjoy showing people cool technology and its application to them but still don’t enjoy coming second!
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?
Do what you say you will do consistently – it’s a stand-out quality!
What living person do you admire and why?
David Attenborough – I don’t think I am alone in that; if only he could have run for prime minister!
Where would you most like to live?
Upstairs at the Distillery in Portobello Road
What is your favourite book?
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – although its sadly not about bikes
How do you relax?
Reading Zen in the Distillery?
What sports team do you support?
England Rugby, and Fulham FC – it’s great to finally be able to watch matches in person, you cannot soak in the atmosphere watching in on TV.
What is your desert island disk?
Sandinista – the Clash or Exodus by Bob Marley
What is your ideal holiday?
Riding the Amalfi coast on my Matchless