Everyone investors casual LinkedIn watchers have more reasons than ever to look at buildings and wonder what’s going on inside. The real estate industry is known to move slowly when it comes to adopting new technology, but new concepts and products are now entering this market at a breakneck pace.
However, this ever-growing line of smart building products has made it confusing for professionals looking to implement Digital Building Platform (DBP) technologies in their spaces, let alone their entire business. . The waters are getting even murkier when it comes to cloud platforms and their impact on ROI when it comes to power consumption and day-to-day operations.
Breaking technology decisions down into small chunks, starting with the fundamental functions, is the easiest way to overcome the promotional fog.
Facility managers, energy professionals and building operators are called upon more and more daily to review the latest platform for the management and operation of their buildings. Here are some tips to help decision makers navigate the marketing blur and put DBP platforms to the test.
The why, the how and the what
Breaking technology decisions down into small chunks, starting with the fundamental functions, is the easiest way to overcome the promotional fog. Ask two simple questions: Who on your team will be using this technology and what problem will it solve for them? Answers to these questions will help you maintain your key goals, making it easier for you to narrow down the hundreds of options to a handful.
Another way to prioritize issues and solutions when researching smart building technologies is to identify your use cases. If you don’t know why you need a technology platform for your smart building, you’ll be hard pressed to say which option is better. Also, once you pick one, you’ll be hard pressed to determine if it was successful. We find that use cases draw the most direct line between the why, the how and the what.
For example, let’s take a look at the why, how, and what questions for a real estate developer who is considering building or upgrading a commercial office building:
- Why will people come? – Our building will be full of amenities and technological touches that will allow discerning tenants to feel comfortable, secure and part of a warm community of like-minded people.
- How are we going to do it? – Implement the latest technology for tenants offering services and capabilities that are not readily available at home. We will create indoor and outdoor environments that make people feel comfortable and happy.
- What tools, products and technologies will we use?
This last question is often the most difficult to answer and is usually left to the last possible moment. For building systems integrators, this is where the real work begins.
Focus on the desired results
When various stakeholder groups begin their investigations into the technology, it is crucial to define the results that each hopes to achieve for each use case. When evaluating specific products, it helps to rank them at high levels.
Several high-level outcomes, such as digital twins activation, data normalization and data storage, are expected in several categories of systems. However, only a business building management system includes the most expected results. Integration Platform as a Service, Tailored Reports and Dashboards, Analytics as a Service, and Energy Optimization Platforms have various enabled and optional outcomes.
The following table presents a list of high-level results and aligns them with a category of smart construction platforms available in the market. Extended definitions of each element are included at the end of this article.