As is the case in every industry, silos remain the great enemy to innovation.
If smart buildings are going to meet their full potential, everything from water saving and heat generation to optimising the internal environment and ICT has to be linked, tracked, analysed and measured. The nine pillars of intelligent design (water, light, internal environment, information supply, ICT, resource utilisation, fire and safety, building access and building safety) require ongoing and interconnected analysis, in order to keep talking as one integrated digital organism.
Too often, we fail to achieve the intended outputs because we don’t have a sense of long-term buy-in from the relevant stakeholders.
Engineering consultants go off the job after construction is completed, and the original design or intention is lost or muddled over time. Either constraining budgets are to blame, or incorrect installation, or faulty configuration of the systems during construction and post-completion. Whatever may be the case, the overall design loses value because of this inability to tie all elements through the entire life cycle of the building. Smart buildings stand to benefit greatly from innovations like new materials, robotics and blockchain. But the ROI will only be realised if the impacts of innovation are considered in light of how each of those nine elements will benefit and draw on these resources.
The key in all this: building synergy to build our future. Not only do smart systems and technologies demand tight collaboration; so too do the people who design, fund and use them. Buildings of the Future can offer a model of future-ready architecture, but they are only as good as the sum of all its parts working together as a functioning ecosystem.
From engineers to designers, city planners to politicians, it will take all hands on deck to turn a truly transformative design into society’s new normal.
But, with automated construction; energy sources and the analysis of data for enhanced efficiencies changing so rapidly — can we afford not to make it our new normal?