Smart Buildings - When will they become mainstream?

Stockholm, Sweden

We have been talking about smart buildings for decades. We have seen technology emerge and some commercial building projects achieve impressive results, however, the vast majority of our building stock is still not smart.  New research from a partnership between Spaceworx and Memoori explores the reasons why that is the case, and perhaps more importantly what can be done to change it.

In order to more deeply explore the situation, Spaceworx partnered with experts in smart building industry research, Memoori, and the result is a white paper, produced through extensive studies that included interviews with key market stakeholders and a survey of over 1,000 building end-users.

The white paper begins with an overview of the key issues that are restricting mainstream market adoption of smart building technology and how solutions can act as catalysts to growth. It then highlights the main problems of digital transformation, including the underestimation of costs, complexities and specialist skill requirements and the need for improved stakeholder alignment, and much more.

The solutions required are addressed through a detailed look at drivers, trends and strategic approaches to achieve mainstream adoption over the next 10 years, which is also possible by working with Spaceworx, as we have extensive experience in working with stakeholders across the supply chain to guide you through your Smart Building development journey.

The study discusses how smart building technology can and should be a part of the everyday, to meet the fast-growing digitised needs of the real estate world. It takes a deep look into the problems that real estate owners and users face, why smart building technology has failed to be addressed in the mainstream, the solutions that are possible, and how Spaceworx can play a part in finding answers for all stakeholders.

Several solutions, drivers, trends, and strategic approaches that will progressively overcome the problems are highlighted and explored in the research. According to the companies, these solutions "should allow smart building technology to deliver on its promise and achieve mainstream market adoption over the next 10 years".

A key differentiator for successful smart building technology adopters, particularly amongst owner-operators, is the development of dedicated and appropriately skilled asset technology teams, that sit between the project team and the operational team and oversee smart building developments from beginning to end.

External factors, including green regulation, green occupant pressures, electricity prices, the pandemic, and others, should push the market towards mass adoption. Green regulations, in particular, will have a greater impact with a “more stick and less carrot” approach expected in the race to net-zero targets.

Opinions were sought from leaders all around the world, and they generally agreed that smart technology is the way forward to create and integrated and sustainable future that evolves as rapidly as the world does.  Some of their comments are detailed below:

“All too often the brief is: “I want a smart building” but they don’t engage an integrator early… And because the integration is… difficult to procure, they don’t know who to go to, and it ends up being the very last thing that is procured.” Rob Huntington, Master Systems.

“I think of a truly smart building like a human body. Each organ has internal smarts but for true smartness they need to operate together.” Hui Min Chan, Director, DP Architects.

“Three years ago… they didn’t really care about green building and sustainability… Now... Everything they touch has to be green and future proofed going forward.” Charles Reed Anderson, Chief Strategy Officer at Eight Inc.


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