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Energy, technology and building utilisation is key says forum

Property utilisation, adapting to new technologies and energy management are key factors affecting today’s facilities managers. At Interserve’s recent forum on 9 October, the company highlighted how both suppliers and clients alike need to take a more strategic approach to facilities management to help address these issues.

Interserve’s facilities management forum, part of an ongoing programme, was held at Somerset House – where the company provides facilities services. The event welcomed over 70 delegates to partake in industry-focused discussions, to encourage knowledge sharing and to highlight issues affecting facilities management supply.

Opening the event, Adrian Ringrose, chief executive at Interserve, made a compelling statement that “businesses need to be bullish about the future,” and that the challenge for the industry is to keep abreast of changes while keeping pace with client demand.

Speakers at the event included Bob Parkin from the Built Asset Consultancy at EC Harris, who discussed whether there is a need for the closer integration of property and facilities management. He suggested that this approach could help to streamline workspace efficiencies and deliver greater value and lower costs for customers.

Trevor Miles, real estate and facilities consulting lead at IBM, talked about smarter buildings, including flexible working and real-time occupancy tracking, and how technology is radically changing the way people interact and work with each other. He explained that when harnessed properly, the right technology can deliver significant business value and act to change the future workplace significantly.

Talking on the subject of sustainability, Colin Hamilton, divisional director – strategic partnerships at Interserve, discussed reducing a business’ energy costs and how, with the realisation that prices are set to continue rising into the foreseeable future, what very real impact this will have on the bottom line. He explained that if this topic is not already on a company’s agenda, then it should be made a priority over the coming years.

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