Smart Cities Start with Smart Buildings

Peter Brickell
MEP Director, Digital Transformation
AECOM, London

Smart Buildings, Smart Cities, the Internet of Things, Big Data – these are just some of the phrases we hear on a daily basis when considering the design of buildings or talk about cities of the future. However, how do we really make these ideas a reality? The thing that links all these concepts is intelligence, and this is defined as “the ability to acquire and apply knowledge.” To create a Smart City we need the different parts - the buildings - to be smart. We need to create intelligent buildings where the masses of data moving around every second are captured and processed, and then this knowledge is applied. Software is advancing faster by the day and is ready to provide the intelligence, but our current procurement methodologies are limiting our progress.

This presentation proposes how the construction industry needs to reconsider the procurement and installations of our IT systems in a building, and how this will lead to truly Smart Buildings. It draws comparisons between how a building’s control systems are currently installed, and then proposes how it should be done in the future, showing how this unlocks the mass of data within a building that will make it “smart”. The presentation concludes with an explanation of how creating Smart Buildings will lead to Smart Cities, what the importance of sharing data can be to the occupants of those cities, and how it can change the way they interact with the environment around them.