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What does modern real estate development look like?

Students of a real estate development course used the map-based tool CHAOS to navigate the large information sets used to create development plans for real estates.
Presentation of project work at Real Estate Development course
Rickard Lindroos and Ida Ekman present a real estate development project.
CHAOS tool dashboard
CHAOS software in use.

The real estate development course of the Master's Programme in Real Estate Economics tackles its topic through a case study, which tasks teams of students with creating a realistic development plan for an old real estate. This year, the case in question was the shopping centre in Rajatorppa, Vantaa, and the development plan was created with the help of a new application.

'The new thing for this year's course was to give students access to a modern analytics platform. This was made possible by collaborating with CHAOS Architects, the firm behind the software', said Doctoral Candidate Antti Seppälä.

The idea of working with CHAOS started with a wish to introduce a modern, easy-to-use tool to students taking the real estate development course.

'The tool gave students an opportunity to use a broad data set while working on their case study, including local information on real estate markets, population, jobs, existing properties and services as well as transport connections. Data like this would be hard to collect from free sources, so the tool let students reinforce their analyses and proposals in the assignment with the relevant facts', Antti Seppälä continued.

In addition to a wide-ranging database, the CHAOS tool was also praised for its ease of use.

'CHAOS was easy to use and a good tool for analysing the real estate market. We used the application to familiarise ourselves with the target area and market of the project. The project required us to check the current status of the area, and the CHAOS tool helped us look up information on, for example, the amount of people living in the area as well as their distribution and educational background', commented Ida Ekman, a first-year student of the Master's Programme in Real Estate Economics.

'Using the map-based CHAOS tool is intuitive, which is part of the reason it has been adopted by companies in the field. This is why we believed the course would benefit from teaching students skills that will be applicable to their future careers', noted Antti Seppälä.

Sustainable development set to play a key role in property development

The course also required students to consider sustainable development as part of their case studies.

'Accounting for sustainable development in real estate development projects means supporting a social, economic and environmentally friendly future. Construction consumes natural resources, so we need to consider whether it is possible to recycle or reuse materials from elsewhere or the existing building', Ida Ekman said.

The importance of sustainable development for real estate development will grow in the future.

'Sustainable development will be a major part of real estate development in the future. General environmental responsibility is going to direct investment decisions and thus also development decisions. In the future, a successful real estate development project has to be safe, low-carbon, smart and it must advance the realisation of social, economic and environmental benefits', Ida Ekman continued.

Ida Ekman is also interested in sustainable development as part of her career. After graduation, she intends to pursue work in real estate investment where she can employ the sustainable development perspective. Ekman considers variety a particular strength of her real estate economics studies, enabling graduates to choose their own direction within the field according to their expertise and interests after leaving the university.

Learn more about the Master's Programme in Real Estate Economics

Students in a lecture hall

Real Estate Economics, Master of Science (Technology)

The majority of annual global investments target real estate, and most of national wealth is into real estate as well. Urbanisation accelerates construction and increases the demand for experts of real estate economics. If you are interested in working with real estate markets, investments, management or development, the Master's Programme in Real Estate Economics will get you started. The programme gives you the skills and knowledge you need to manage the entire lifespan of real estate.

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