Published on Facility Perspectives // VOL 14 No. 02 (August 2020)
Innovative tools centralize property data to aid decision-making and strengthen information controls.
Build-Apps co-founder and CEO Liam Murray knew there was a better way for property companies to store, manage and analyze building performance data. Building owners lacked a single source of truth for their property portfolio because used Software as a Service (SaaS) providers to hold separate silos of their data. Murray believed that this fragmented approach was inefficient and costly, and that weakened data controls.
‘One owner had 25 different logins across the company’s lift app, cleaning app and so on’ he says. ‘Another was concerned about cybersecurity risk because the data was held with different SaaS providers. One owner could not even identify all the company’s assets in real time because of SaaS data challenges.
Murray launched Build-Apps in May 2019 to streamline data ownership and independence, solve client problems and reduce costs. Their shared goal is to streamline data ownership and emphasize data independence and client satisfaction through the Build-Apps ethos.
The technology developed over the course of five years, was spun out of Murray’s other company, Building-Performance, an in-demand consultant in building-performance analysis that advises some of Australia’s largest property companies.
Build-Apps designs and builds customizable apps for large and small property companies. Its technology suite (ADAMM &Co.) has 12 apps for asset management, sustainability, energy use, risk management, building services, investments, projects and other areas. More apps are being added as Build-Apps software that has easy-to-use interfaces, talks to building owners’ other technologies and connects to external data sources. ‘Build-Apps’ goal is to provide world-leading analytics for property companies’- says Murray.
Exceptional client results
Build-Apps’ strategy is working. The apps are used in more than $25 billion worth of property, covering more than 38 million square meters of floor space. Clients include leading property trusts and companies such as Dexus, Lendlease, Stockland and Salta Properties.
Dexus has made the ADAMM & Co. suite operational within its Microsoft 365 environment to chart a route to zero carbon emissions by 2030 across its entire property portfolio. Impressed by ADAMM & Co., Dexus commissioned Build-Apps to create VERAA, a vertical-transport monitoring app.
Lendlease is using ADAMM & Co. for integrated asset-management data as a pathway to sustainability gains. The technology’s forecasting capabilities helped Lendlease to identify 1599 energy-saving recommendations, worth a forecasted 24 million kilograms of carbon dioxide (co2) emissions. Lendlease’s information technology (IT) team is collaborating with Build-Apps to understand how its other business productivity apps could benefit Lendlease’s property portfolio.
Stockland installed ADAMM & Co. to help create a single source of truth for its $6.31 billion retail property portfolio. Data from Stockland’s asset and condition audits, conducted every three years is stored in ADAMM & Co.
Its analytics provide a holistic overview of asset condition to inform capital expenditure and maintenance. Build-Apps technology and values are achieving strong industry recognition. The company is a founding member of the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) Digital Advisory Board.
Disrupting the disruptors
Murray says the strong uptake of Build-Apps technology is due to its application platform as a solution (PaaS) model. As an integrated Service Vendor, Build-Apps distributes its interconnected apps via the Microsoft AppSource platform, leveraging Microsoft’s global platform and the expertise, trust and security of the world’s leading information technology brand.
‘Lots of app platforms run on Microsoft 365, but none cover as many aspects of the property sectors as we do or have such a focus on sustainability’, says Murray. He believes that Build-Apps model has several advantages. ‘Property SaaS has its place, but there is a lot of hype around property technology (PropTech) and an alarming rate of SaaS offerings for building owners. The result has been data scattered across multiple vendor servers. Too often, the true data owners- building owners- have been unable to review an amalgamated data set’.
Inflated cost is another risk. ‘Companies are paying SaaS providers higher up-front and recurring fees to hold separate silos of their data. Build-Apps helps clients lower fees by empowering them to hold their own data and have better control’.
Build-Apps’ clients retain the current version of its apps even if they don’t require ongoing support. ‘Building owners pays a one-off fee to use out apps, based on the size of their portfolio and no more if not requiring ongoing services’ says Murray. The company’s model is based on the belief that a property company’s IT team should control how data is stored, managed and accessed. ‘Build-Apps acts like an extension of the client’s IT team’ says Murray. ‘We work closely with IT Team to understand their needs and how our apps can integrate with their company’s tech platform’.
Build-Apps will roll out its technology to global markets in the next few years. The firm has UK presence and will host global roadshows. The firm has a UK presence and will host global roadshows for building owners when it’s safe to travel after COVID-19.
‘Building owners overseas face similar data challenges’ says Murray. ‘They too have information scattered across different vendors, may more than they should for property technology and sometimes have no single source of data truth for their buildings’. Fasters uptake of Build-Apps portfolio is another aim. Several apps are in development, and more expected a clients ask Build-Apps to solve data problems. Each app has a distinctive name; ADAMM, for example, stands for Asset Database for Audits and Maintenance Management. SERGII is the Social, Environmental, Resilience, Governance, and Indices Improver.
Murray is proud of Build-Apps’ achievement and is excited about its potential. ‘We are taking unique Australian property technology to a global market and helping more building owners and the environment- benefit from better data management’.