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Smart Buildings

The Analyst

I just read a piece in Urban Land Magazinetitled “ULX: Smart Buildings.” Smart in the UK typically means fashionable and expensive.  In the US, it’s clever or intelligent. It would be great if a building met both definitions. 

Smartness is hard to avoid these days. Smart appliances. Smart cities. Smart vehicles. Smart streets. Then there’s street smarts. I first heard that term, smart building, over 35 years ago. A real estate wag I knew said then, “I know what a smart building is. It’s one that’s fully leased.”

So far, a smart building is one that does things we ordinarily should do and do them better in many ways. It’s all about electronics, sensing and data. Some buildings are more susceptible to seismic activity and some can cause health problems. Will smart buildings sense such problems before they cause harm?  The list could get longer. And how smart should a smart building be?  It’s not yet one that thinks like HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey. “I’m sorry Mr. Bowman, but because your lease payment is a day overdue, I can’t allow you in.” 

The Analyst

About Gordon Brown

M. Gordon Brown, DTech is Principal of Space Analytics, LLC which he founded 30 years ago. He taught, and was a professor of, architecture at IIT, Arizona State University and the University of Colorado. He was later Head of the Real Estate Management and Development Group at Eindhoven University of Technology. He's the author of many scientific, professional and critical articles and essays and of Access, Property and American Urban Space published by Routledge in 2016.

Articles by Gordon Brown

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