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.”