Learn how distributed networks, including blockchain technology, and artificial intelligence are impacting real estate in this report

by Brianna Crandall — July 31, 2017 — Although computer technology and robotics have been around for more than 60 years, their increasingly pervasive presence in the workplace is creating significant shifts in the way that mainstream work is getting done, according to international commercial real estate services firm Avison Young.

Accordingly, these shifts are placing new demands on the space in which work is housed. As a result of the location implications of distributed networks and open-source platforms; and the need for increased power, resiliency and cybersecurity being placed upon offices, warehouses and shopping malls, the real estate of the future is evolving, too.

These are some of the key trends noted in Avison Young’s white paper: Architecture of the Fourth Industrial Revolution — Distributed Networks and Artificial Intelligence, Impacts and Opportunities for the Real Estate Sector, just released.

Amy Erixon, Avison Young principal and managing director, Investments, who authored the white paper, commented:

E-commerce, fintech, co-working, big data, autonomous vehicles and blockchain technologies are distributed-network systems that logistically change where and how work gets done. These technologies, plus artificial intelligence, are the most important sea changes affecting investment and operational real estate decision-making today.

This white paper is intended to help institutional investors and their service providers gain a better grasp of the range and potential impact of these and other forthcoming technology innovations. This paper addresses what we can learn about rates of adoption from the historical trajectory of e-commerce, fintech and artificial intelligence, and provides insights into innovation versus disruptive change, automation and the future of work.

Designed to reduce anxiety about the pace of change and demystify the underlying trends, the white paper contains both a reference guide to the technologies for people who are less familiar with them, and a roadmap for moving forward with updates to occupancy and investment strategies. The paper discusses the promise and policy considerations around the workplace changes currently underway, and the potential for some of the technologies themselves, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain.

Erixon, who is based in Toronto, added:

We hope that this white paper will bring readers new insights and ideas for moving our business forward in this new digitized and dispersing world. Implications for the existing building stock are vast. Companies and industries looking to leverage technological change will expect more from their facilities in the future.

Avison Young’s white paper, Architecture of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Distributed Networks and Artificial Intelligence — Impacts and Opportunities for the Real Estate Sector is available from the firm’s Web site.