Automation viewed as means to reduce lifecycle cost, says Gemini Property Developers
Dubai, UAE, 4 October 2018: Technologies related to home automation are increasingly being viewed as a means to reduce lifecycle cost, said Sunil Gomes, CEO, Gemini Property Developers, adding that the company is investing heavily in this regard, to ensure its competitiveness, by offering greater savings in opex.“The lifecycle of a project is partly determined by the service charge,” Gomes said. “Being able to afford a unit is one thing, the other side of the equation is being able to afford to live in it. We use technology automation to make sure the projects are affordable.”
Gomes pointed to Splendor, Gemini’s latest project, as an example, highlighting its integrated controls, allowing users to manage operations through their mobile phones. “We are using technology at every level, whether in the car park or in the air conditioning automation system, to ensure operational expenditure over the next 25 years is sensibly used.”
Gomes said that efforts to integrate sophisticated controls in units under the company’s portfolio are a result of growing demand from customers. “I think all homeowners and purchasers are far more intelligent and technologically savvy than they were 10 years ago,” he said. “This new generation is far more technically advanced than any generation previous to it and the expectation level is higher as to what they want in their home, putting downward pressure on developers to build smarter.”
Technology, Gomes said, is increasingly optimised to make homes more efficient, reduce maintenance issues and address the operation of every part of the unit. “It is also being used to ensure the efficiency of the pricing and budgets, allowing the homeowners to control their own service charges,” he said. Gomes said that Gemini is aware of the impact integrating home automation has on the original capex, but that the company has seen a significant reduction in cost-recovery period, which currently ranges from three to seven years, making a case for investment in sophisticated platforms for the benefit of both the developer and end-user.
Gomes added that Dubai’s property market holds a lot of opportunities in the affordable housing sector, because in many cases “affordable housing is not that affordable”. “There are continued opportunities for niche developers that come up with a good mix of sizing and design,” he said. “Some developers historically oversize the units, and, as a result, they are not selling as well as they could.” In line with this, Gomes highlighted that Gemini has recently commenced handover of its AED 300 million Splendor project, against the backdrop of its participation in Cityscape Dubai.