Why Smart Building Technology Buzz is Living up to the Hype
As smart buildings evolve from digitized, but closed environments to being more connected ones that leverage cloud and perhaps even edge-based data analytics, they also become more complex, relying on broader ecosystems of different companies with enabling technologies and services that must work together.
“Smart buildings are heterogeneous environments with many systems,” Hedayat said. “You need to be open and enable integration across the system. Being open is a requirement when you connect to the cloud.”
Another issue has to do with the data collected in smart buildings. Going from very little intelligence about building, machine and device operations to an abundance of data can be overwhelming, making it difficult and time-consuming to uncover the most valuable nuggets.
“The real challenge going forward is that all of that data in buildings today is unstructured data,” Hedayat said. “It’s there, but we don’t know what it is. What we need to do is create structured data sets using artificial intelligence and machine learning.”
The new few years could represent a major step forward in evolving toward AI-driven, application-rich buildings that use cloud or edge computing to deliver valuable insights on how to better operate and use building assets. Many buildings aren’t that smart yet, but the industry is getting smarter everyday about how to turn smart building visions into reality.
“It’s definitely happening, but we’ll see a lot more happen in the next three to five years,” Hopping said. “We don’t see a market where smart buildings wouldn’t make sense.”