The Transformation of Commercial Property Development: How AI and IoT are Shaping the Future

Wednesday, 15th May 2024

Author; Deb Hetherington – Head of Innovation Bruntwood SciTech

Ai Research Fellow Leeds Beckett University


The commercial property development industry is witnessing a profound transformation, driven in large part by the rapid advancement of Artificial Intelligence (Ai) and the Internet of Things (IoT). The days of property companies building bricks-and-mortar structures for their customers are long gone.

Technologies like Ai and IoT are redefining how properties are not only developed, but also managed. From increased efficiency to enhanced customer experience and improved sustainability, these cutting-edge technologies are positively impacting the life cycle of a development process.

What are Ai and IoT?

According to Chat GPT; Ai encompasses a range of technologies that enable machines to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. These tasks include learning from data, recognizing patterns, making decisions, and even understanding natural language.

The ‘Artificial’ encompasses  the design of computer programmes, algorithms and systems that can simulate human like intelligence in order to problem solve.

IoT refers to a network of interconnected devices that communicate and exchange data over the internet. These devices, equipped with sensors and software, can monitor and manage various aspects of a building’s environment, from lighting and temperature to security systems and energy consumption.

When combined, AI and IoT create intelligent systems capable of optimizing operations and providing valuable insights in real-time.

 Impact on the Commercial Property Development IndustryI

The potential impact of these technologies from an economic and social perspective is exceptional. From software applications that will support data driven decision making, to hardware that will improve customer experience, the intersection of Ai and IoT has the potential to revolutionise the industry.

Smart buildings; what makes a building smart? Data. Not just embedding devices that can collect data, but artificial intelligence that can analyse that data to optimise building systems automatically. Imagine having live data on occupancy and movement for energy saving processes, analysis of indoor air quality, HVAC systems that can adjust in real-time based on usage patterns.

Predictive maintenance; following on from smart buildings, a specific IoT capability includes the deployment of sensors which continuously monitor the health of building systems and infrastructure, providing real-time data on performance levels. The Ai then analyses that data to predict when equipment is likely to fail or require maintenance. Imagine knowing when a system is likely to fail, and ensuring timely maintenance to reduce negative customer impact and costs. Smart hey?

Enhanced customer experience;  Robots greeting you when you enter your office? We laugh, but the concept is not nearly as far-fetched as it once was. Ai and IoT enhance the customer experience by providing personalised and responsive services. From smart access control systems to accommodating chat bots with genuinely helpful responses, virtual assistants to address enquiries, all of which are tailored to the specific needs of the customer.

Optimised space utilisations; As property management experts, we are all well aware of the under utilisation of some spaces post covid. Imagine a world where we have live data provided by IoT sensors that is analysed in real-time, providing intel on the number of people acquiring a given space. This can allow us to optimise our spaces in a truly efficient manner, by analysing heat maps and other sensory data sets we can make strategic decisions on amenities and office layouts, extending the high traffic spaces and trimming down the under utilised ones.

All of these IoT and Ai based solutions have a common goal of operational efficiency. The integration of these technologies streamlines a multitude of operational processes with evident commercial benefits. Automated systems can handle routine administrative tasks such as rent collection, lease management, and reporting. Whilst the customer experience is enhanced via smart devices.


The rise of technology within the industry is not new, but we are entering a period aligned with economic pressures and increased demand on resource where these under utilised technologies can improve industry efficiency and the customer experience. Adoption of such technologies presents a unique opportunity for innovation as well as sustainable development. As Ai and IoT continue to advance in this space, the impact they will have will only grow. The future of commercial property development is undoubtedly intertwined with these technologies, promising a new era of improvements.