Smart buildings – challenges and opportunities
Posted on 27th October 2021 at 18:07
The pandemic has increased awareness of the importance of contactless technology, user behaviour, analytics, and remote management for our buildings.
However, progress with smart buildings faces some interesting challenges although there are also plenty of opportunities.
Cybersecurity – privacy, security, and availability of data can cause concern. As more systems in smart buildings connect to the internet the risks will increase. Work will be needed to give building owners, managers, and users confidence that their data is safe.
Personal data – it’s not surprising that building users hesitate to provide personal information, even when it will allow them to access internet of things (IoT) services. Using, storing, and analysing personal data remains a sensitive subject.
Retrofitting – new building designs might automatically include some smart solutions, but the process of purchasing and installing smart technology as part of renovation and maintenance plans for older buildings is still a challenge. Lack of innovation and compatibility between systems is a barrier to progress. Specifiers need new skills in networking, systems integration, data management and data security.
Compatibility – a trusted and recognised process for collaboration on smart building projects is urgently needed. Currently there are few incentives to make sure compatibility and compliance are reliably included in the process. A Smart Systems Integrator role needs to be specified and understood.
Collaboration – there’s a growing trend for cooperation and collaboration which will help to embed the benefits of smart technology and systems to improve efficiency, sustainability, connectivity, and user benefits. Open standards will provide more choice and flexibility to improve the design and implementation of smart building solutions.
Wellbeing – the pandemic made us more aware of the need to occupancy analytics, air quality monitoring and control, remote management tools and contactless solutions. Giving employees more confidence to return to work and to encourage customers to visit venues is a priority. Improving employee wellbeing will also contribute to productivity, reduce sickness, and increase staff retention.
Sustainability – cost and energy savings are priorities for all businesses and smart technologies can provide accurate information to help cut costs and energy use. According to the United Nations Environment Programme buildings and their construction account for 38% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.
Since 80% of the buildings we will be using in 2050 have already been built an effective programme to upgrade them using smart technologies will be essential.
The MSE team is aways happy to collaborate on smart building projects, so please get in touch.
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