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What to Expect When Investing in Intelligent Building Technologies

Casey Talon
Jun 12, 2018

In many organizations there is a champion of sustainability and energy management. For many years these advocates worked in silos separate from decision-making executives who controlled the budget. That has changed, and today corporate sustainability and energy commitments are increasingly integrated with economic and strategic growth objectives. Furthermore, there is a growing acknowledgment that optimizing the portfolio of facilities in which organizations operate can be an effective mode of achieving the spectrum of business goals. The intelligent buildings market is capitalizing on the expanding understanding of the importance of connected, efficient, and sustainable facilities. Mass market adoption will have significant business and social impacts, but there remain challenges for many organizations. Let’s look at two steps that can help drive greater market penetration of intelligent building technologies.

Executive Engagement: The value propositions for investment in intelligent building technologies have changed from energy savings to a more comprehensive set of business benefits because of the importance of buy-in from budget holders and executives. The focus should be on speaking to the highest possible executive of each specific business. As explained by Cohen van Oostom in a recent Fast Company article, many executives need to understand the impact on the bottom line: “There are so many owners in the US that don’t have anything against sustainability but are not moving because they are afraid it will cost them money…We are at the start of a revolution where a lot of buildings are going to be made—with the help of technology—a lot more sustainable.”

Focus on the Intelligent Building as a Business Asset: Facilities operation has been characterized as a cost center for many organizations, but intelligent building technologies optimize cost savings and even create revenue-generation opportunities. Macroeconomic pressures are driving executives to rethink their facilities, and intelligent building technologies can help, as explained in a recent Commercial Property Executive article: “Many health systems own and lease large amounts of real estate and we’re seeing their financial leaders making changes to manage it more as an investment,” said Garth Hogan, executive managing director at Newmark Knight Frank Global Healthcare Services. “We’re seeing more hospitals consider monetization of some of their noncore assets to create capital and focus on portfolio optimization and strategy.”

Learn More at IBcon

The details of deploying intelligent building technology can be complicated. Will it be cyber secure? How do you address data privacy? What operations are you comfortable handing over to remote, even outsourced, control? Will you be at IBcon in Las Vegas? Be sure to check out a great panel discussion I will be participating in on Wednesday, “Understanding the Options for a Building Operating System.” This will be your chance to join a lively discussion on the next steps in intelligent building strategy.