Survey finds that clients are unprepared for smart-building revolution

CIBSE, ECA, IoT, smart buildings, Internet of Things

40% of building clients are ‘unfamiliar’ with the heavily used phrase the ‘Internet of Things’, according to survey findings from the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), CIBSE and SELECT, the Scottish electrical-trade body. In addition, 55% of respondents, which include consultants, engineers, end clients, local authorities and facilities managers says that a ‘lack of clear advice/knowledge’ is a barrier to installing connected technology in their buildings. 61% of respondents say they don’t have any plans to ‘evaluate and install connected technology’.

The survey findings also show that clients expect buildings across sectors that include residential, commercial, retail and industrial, to soon encounter a smart-technology revolution. At present, over half of respondents say ‘a limited number’ or ‘very little’ of these buildings have connected technology installed, but a similar number expect this to increase to a ‘significant’ or ‘overwhelming majority’ in the next five years.

Dr Hywel Davies, technical director at CIBSE said, ‘As digital technology becomes ever more pervasive, it will have an increasing penetration in the buildings sector. The real challenge for our sector is to deliver digital technologies that can satisfy users who are used to technology offerings, functionality and user experience from silicon valley.’

‘Connected technology’ refers to any technology that enables devices within a building to communicate with each other, be controlled remotely via the internet and undertake automated and reactive tasks.

Clients said the main reason for installing connected technology was to ‘improve energy efficiency and reduce energy bills’ (58%). Over the next five years, respondents said the technologies most likely to be installed in buildings are: CCTV and security (78%), heating (74%), fire systems (69%), and BEMS (67%).

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