Adding smart technology to an older structure could save money, although the advent of more new features makes redevelopment an attractive option.
As cities and private property owners look to make more of their buildings smarter, they are often faced with a choice: either modernize existing properties or start afresh.
Smart building technology has already been found to save companies up to 18% on utility bills according to a report by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, but experts said the tech can also help with employees’ productivity and mood.
And the advent of 5G technology, combined with changing expectations for what people want from construction and design, could further impact an industry that is set to be worth $36 billion in 2020, according to a report from Zion Market Research.
More flexibility in construction and planning
The process of designing and constructing a new building has gotten smarter in recent years too, as construction companies take advantage of new technology and make it easier for themselves, contractors, architects and the building’s owners to make changes on the fly. Kyle McQuiston of construction company JE Dunn said on a panel discussion at Smart Cities Connect in Kansas City, MO, that developing smart buildings “begins with building smartly.”
Cleve Adams, CEO of AI-driven smart buildings performance platform Site 1001, said on the same panel that in building the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, builders kept a database that tracked every aspect of construction and inventoried site tools. They also integrated machine learning to predict the building’s maintenance needs, both during the building process and once it was operational.
And any changes that the design team wanted to make to the building during construction could be done easily through technology. For example, the builders could tweak a wing of the building on their screen due to a change in materials, and that change would show up automatically in the designs and renderings shown to those coordinating design. “It’s a seamless way to integrate the processes that for a long time have been disjointed somewhat,” McQuiston said.
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