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“Smart buildings” are the next big thing on the horizon of commercial real estate technology, yet remains largely undefined. 

Smart Buildings Getting Smarter

“Smart buildings” are the next big thing on the horizon of commercial real estate technology, yet remains largely undefined.  Subjectively, it sounds like a proposition each commercial real estate owner/investor should consider.  Demand has largely driven the emergence of smart buildings, particularly in the last five years.  Main Street Engineering looks to companies like Google and Apple for cues when selecting office space for their growing company; eco-friendlier, more sustainable, and hip.

Much like the emergence of smart phones that started as a novelty, many of those with them now attached to their hip never imagined transferring more mobile data across the Internet than through a hard line.  In a way this is the perfect analog for the upcoming emergence and dominance of smart buildings, novelty to necessity.  As “smart phone” was somewhat of a generic term in the infancy of the technology, apps and mobile platforms have proven to be truly transformative.  What is to come for smart buildings is largely still unknown.  Today’s automated lighting, HVAC, smart water systems are to smart buildings what surfing the web was on your phone in 2000.

The smart phone is as much of a tool in the emergence of smart buildings as it is a model of how they will progress.  In a few short years, you may input your temperature, humidity and lighting preferences into your phone and systems will adjust as you move about your facility, and that of others.  It may will determine your location, your destination and prepare the environment for your arrival.  What will be the “app” of smart buildings?  What will take the capabilities to the next level and deliver the largest amount of value to the user?  We are yet to see what is to come but one thing is for sure, like the emergence of the smart phone, it will transform the way we work, live, and play.

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