Data is a critical component of any operational entity. With the advent of newer technologies, such data is growing at an exponential rate. As a result, when most of this data is distributed across multiple platforms, with manual or non-existent workflows and siloed in systems that don’t “talk” to each other, the data can quickly become stale and disjointed.
Through the rapid growth of Internet of Things (IoT) deployments, organisations are capturing more data than ever before. But there are still a number of questions around the use of data that need clarity. What is the value in the data? How can it be made available and used effectively to benefit all stakeholders – councils, citizens and businesses? How can it be monetised, if at all?
What will workplaces look like as they begin to reopen from the coronavirus? Will contact tracing with smartphones locate, track and report potential carriers? Will temperature and fever detection become required to gain access to a facility or enterprise? Will prescreening and validation processes be a prerequisite to on-site visits?
The concept of energy harvesting has been around for over a decade; however, the implementation of ambient energy-powered systems in the real-world environment has been cumbersome, complex and costly. Constructing smart buildings that will conserve energy, encompassing both commercial and residential structures, is a prerequisite to ensure energy efficient structures do not draw heavily from traditional power sources that utilize fossil fuels.
How long before your building “knows” more about you than you do yourself? As ever-more processing is crammed into smaller, lighter and cheaper devices, it was only a matter of time before people would be able to wear them as they go about their everyday lives. It hasn’t taken long for people to find ways in which wearables could be used to improve the inter-relationship between buildings on the one hand, and the people who live or work in them, or visit them.
There is a common and recurring challenge amongst commercial real estate developers. To ensure their project does not result in delivering an obsolete building upon substantial completion. This is an understandably stressful predicament for development teams who are having to define functional and experiential uses cases two, three, sometimes five years in advance of completion with expectations that the new building meet both market demand as well as operational requirements.
In 1962, The Jetsons cartoon came on the scene and gave us an idyllic world enabled by technology. Things like video chat, holograms, jet packs, 3D printed food, and smartwatches were science fiction at the time. These things are all reality today. While the vision for a truly “smart city” might seem like science fiction to some, it’s fast becoming reality. Smart Cities are fully connected, sustainable, energy efficient, and socially friendly communities that use their infrastructure to intelligently improve the quality of life of those who live and visit there.
The very best smart buildings harvest vast amounts of data from as many different sources as possible – building systems and sensors are capable of providing huge volumes of operational data regarding status, usage levels, maintenance needs and more. In the post-COVID era, IoT-driven, smart building technology can track the extent to which desks, meeting rooms and other spaces are actually used. Supporting apps can make it easier for colleagues to find and contact each other.
The office market report: What will happen to all those big empty buildings if we all stay working from home?
When the lockdown is relaxed, we are likely to see changes to both our working practices and adjustments to our workplaces. This may include continued remote working, or a partial return to the workplace incorporating modified schedules or shift working. Some people will avoid their previous commute by working from suburban or branch offices outside city centers or utilizing local flexible/serviced office providers. At least temporarily, office occupation densities will be reduced, initially managed by seating policy and behavior rather than more expensive desk reconfiguration. Video calls will continue to replace many meetings and most business travel.
The coronavirus pandemic may have put many investment plans on hold, but it has also highlighted the global drive to sustainable living in energy-efficient cities. COVID-19 and the economic slowdown from the measures to contain it have had many national and local governments think about building back a better future, one that involves intelligent use of energy resources.