In response to your article ‘Energy crisis puts pressure on both occupiers and landlords’, while I agree wholeheartedly that as an industry we need to think more creatively about ways of reducing energy usage within buildings, there is one critical piece missing from the story: technology.

Smart and sustainable solutions, drawing on cutting-edge tech such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), are here now – and can make a material contribution to reducing energy consumption while slashing the carbon footprint of buildings.

Real estate’s recent energy efficiency push was initially driven by net zero ambitions – but the spiralling price of energy is now another key issue facing landlords. Regardless of the catalyst, tech will form an integral part of our future approach, and owners and occupiers must consider all options to make their buildings more energy efficient, as rising costs negatively affect the bottom line.

Tech holds the key to meeting this moment. There is a significant opportunity for innovators to positively affect and address the industry’s challenges around energy cost inflation and sustainability.

Although progress is being made, facilities managers are still relying on manual processes and spreadsheets to assess building performance. Tech can now provide a level of visibility and transparency into a building’s operational efficiency through ‘digital twins’, which the real estate sector has coveted for years.

Machine-learning algorithms can analyse building and portfolio efficiency in seconds, down to the very smallest components, such as a malfunctioning ball bearing in a motor, identifying where improvements can be made in real time. These asset insights can drive operational efficiency and also identify excessive energy consumption, due to the inadequacies and failure of onsite equipment.

As environmental, social and governance (ESG) regulatory requirements and energy costs increase across the globe, tech-led solutions that enable asset owners and managers to plan, track and monitor operational performance will be an essential tool in the industry’s evolution.

Chintan Soni, founder and chief executive, Ecolibrium, a machine-learning-led decarbonisation platform