Darlene Pope, Planon’s President of North American Operations, will be a featured speaker at this year’s Connectivity Expo (Connect (X), which will be held May 8-10 in New Orleans. Pope will be leading the panel discussion during the Benefits of Smart Buildings session at 3 p.m. on May 9.
Pope has been a thought leader and commercial real estate industry subject matter expert for more than 30 years. She’s led major initiatives at companies such as JLL, WeWork, Realcomm and her current company, Planon. Pope has also founded and run two woman-owned businesses and has spent her career consulting CRE owners on advanced technology solutions for buildings and helped them evaluate and implement best practices and solutions for smart building technology, digital workplace, energy management and efficient operations.
Her real estate technology expertise was recognized when the DC BID named Pope Visionary of the Year. She’s also been named one of the Top Power Women in CRE by Bisnow.
The Benefits of Smart Buildings panel will look at the role of connectivity, building networks, and system integration to transform buildings into smart, sustainable, intuitive, valuable assets. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about what’s critical today, as well as what’s in store for the future of smart connected buildings.
The presentation will also introduce attendees to a number of ways in which a smart building can use connectivity and intelligence to collect and use data. They then can see how that data can contribute to energy management, building efficiencies, and an enhanced user experience by responding in real time to the tenants’ needs.
“I’m very much looking forward to speaking at Connect (X) this year because of how passionate I am about this industry and the opportunities we have to improve buildings through technology,” Pope told Connected Real Estate Magazine. “Technology is rapidly advancing, and I always want to make sure that real estate executives have the most knowledge about the ‘art of the possible’ as well as what solutions are currently available to them, how technology can work for their organization’s specific needs now, and what they should expect in the future.”
This particular discussion couldn’t have come at a better time, according to Pope. Both wireless connectivity and smart topics are important topics as commercial real estate owners’ and tenants’ priorities have shifted. Energy efficiency is just one example of a topic that has become top of mind for a lot of people — especially as lighting costs have increased across the country.
“Not only can energy efficiency reduce carbon footprint, but it can also lower utility bills for building owners and tenants,” Pope said. “Comfort and productivity for employees has become more important as research is finding that it can lead to better work experience, job satisfaction, fewer sick days, and improved overall performance. Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) is a huge priority right now, and smart buildings can help to mitigate the effects of climate change.”
Public safety has also become a key issue when it comes to smart buildings and connectivity. Smart buildings can use connected devices and sensors to look for potential safety hazards such as fires or gas leaks. Tenants and emergency services can then be alerted as needed. Meanwhile, CRE owners can deploy advanced security systems to prevent unauthorized access and protect against cyber-attacks.
There are also cost savings to consider. Smart buildings can help CRE owners save money through increased energy efficiency, reduced maintenance costs, and improved asset management.
“Overall, the topic of connectivity and smart buildings is important because it has the potential to improve the quality of life for building occupants, reduce environmental impact, and generate significant economic benefits,” Pope said. “As technology continues to advance, it will be increasingly important to address this topic and explore new ways to leverage connectivity to create smarter, more sustainable buildings.”