I have made no secret of my excitement for the crest of the wave the building sector is riding in terms of innovation and the mine of potential that we can do with it. However, nothing is ever straightforward and there are numerous issues to solve if we are truly to make full use of the abilities of smart buildings.
In July survey results released by IFSEC Media and Omdia provided an in-depth understanding of the perspective of end users on smart building technologies. The report argued that though the capability exists in the majority of buildings, there is a resource or education gap in the use of the data harvested. Its future outlook summary; “an ambitious industry, albeit facing challenges” I thought summed up our current position very well.
The survey found that although most respondents have smart building technologies in their facilities and collect their data, 42% of them do not analyse building data from their facilities to identify changes and patterns that can support the buildings’ operation and management and, when collected, the data is primarily used to provide visibility of performance of equipment rather than for running advanced analytics.
The vast amounts data produced by buildings has been well documented, but it is access to this data and presenting it usefully that will add real added value to BMS systems in terms of making both energy and financial savings. The percentage of end-users that currently have smart building technologies/applications within all or part of their organisation was relatively high, more than 70% but, perhaps significantly, a lack of training available to staff who would operate the systems/equipment was one of the two most cited issues that end users encountered in the first year of using their smart building technologies. There are companies already moving towards data harvesting including existing BMS manufacturers, plus IT giants such as Google, Microsoft & IBM and System Integrators providing lower level access to the huge amount of data that can be harvested through a BMS.
I would like to say congratulations to all the winners of this year’s BCIA Awards and also a big thank you to everybody who participated in our first ever BCIA Virtual Awards and made it a night to remember. We have been dealt some truly exceptional circumstances in 2020 and, despite it not being quite the big night we all wanted it served a reminder to me of the brilliant, talented, imaginative and good humoured people and companies we are lucky to have in our industry.