Why is Retrofit Not Taken More Seriously in the Climate Change Conversation?

Wednesday 18th October 13:45 - 14:30

Energy Management Theatre

In nearly every smart buildings presentation you will find an oft quoted statistic from the UN Environment Programme about how nearly 40% of global emissions come from real estate. There is, however, another important one from the World Economic Forum about how approximately 80% of the buildings we have today still being in use in 2050 and how 75% of that building stocking the EU consider energy inefficient.

Yet despite industry understanding about that need, and all the talk about the opportunity, there is a surprising lack of information and guidance on the retrofitting of smart buildings. That is a potential barrier for their adoption, particularly as part of the drive towards net zero.

This panel session brings together thought leaders from across the smart building ecosytem who will be discussing how making buildings more efficient may not be enought alone for more effective refrofit strategies in commercial real estate. The curation and moderation is based on market insights derived from the round tables panel moderator Justin Kirby has be writing about in Smart Buildings Magazine and his other engagement activities exploring retrofit best practice.


Justin Kirby

Market Engagement Specialist


Justin is an author and market engagement specialist who helps joins the dots between research, innovation, go-to-market activation and business transformation around 3 core activities: content, connections and conversations. He’s been conceiving and running large- scale stakeholder engagement programmes in various sectors for over 2 decades. More recently Justin has been curating and moderating a series of events that have been feeding into a retrofit-focused industry collaboration he's been facilitating with smart building research specialists Memoori. The initiative aims to inspire, educate and showcase innovation as part of drive towards net zero in commercial property.

Jess Costanzo

Commercial Director


Jess has a long-standing passion for sustainability, having chosen to follow the sustainable development degree pathway whilst at university. As Commercial Director at Simmtronic, Jess is responsible for all commercial strategy and decision making across the business. An avid data enthusiast, she enjoys bringing customers closer to actionable insights for their projects, challenging assumptions about what good looks like and focusing on automations and integrations that reduce energy consumption.

Dan Drogman

Founder & CEO

Smart Spaces

Dan Drogman is a software development entrepreneur and CEO of Smart Spaces. He provides leading owners and developers of real estate with smart building solutions. Smart Spaces enables building owners to add an extra dimension to their services via its internet of things cloud-based platform, smartphone app and digital twin, giving clients 360-degree engagement with and control of their office environment. From a secure automated entry system with Apple Wallet functionalities, to control of lighting and heating, and connecting with the office concierge, the technology is revolutionising the role of the traditional building owner and occupier.

Fiona Sawkill

Head of Digital Placemaking

British Land

Fiona Sawkill is a dynamic leader in the realm of digital technology. She has 30 years experience in digital & technology, 10 of those within the Real Estate industry. In her role as Head of Digital Placemaking at British Land, Fiona has been accountable for crafting and executing British Land's Digital Placemaking strategy.

Her visionary approach has facilitated seamless digital integration within physical spaces, offering deep insights into asset performance, building operation and space utilisation. Fiona has been instrumental in conceptualising and implementing customer interfaces and operating models for an array of digital products and services.

She is passionate about using digital technology to curate an excellent customer experience and to challenge the industry norms to improve efficiency and deliver real value against sustainability goals.

Matthew Marson

Managing Director

Dr Matthew Marson is an experienced leader, working at the intersection of technology, sustainability, and the built environment. Having founded WSP’s Smart Places practice and grown Accenture’s offering in this field, Matthew led a €100m business across a range of asset types and geographies.

Marson was named as the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Young Engineer of the Year 2022 and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Young Visionary 2016 for his contributions to the global Smart Buildings industry.

As a recognised thought leader, Matthew is a keynote speaker at international industry events related to emerging technology, net zero design and places at the building and city scales. He was an author in the Encyclopaedia of Sustainable Technologies and a published writer in a variety of journals, earning a doctorate in Smart Buildings.

Sanjaya Ranasinghe

Global Director of R&D


Sanjaya Ranasinghe is Global Director of R&D at WiredScore. In his role, Sanjaya develops, reviews and implementsWiredScore’s scorecard criteria to make the world’s buildings smarter and better connected.
Joining the company in 2016 to drive the company’s global expansion, his work over the last four years has focused on building the world’s first smart building certification, SmartScore. SmartScore focuses on how smart technology is implemented to deliver user centric outcomes for building owners, operators and occupants.

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