Your questions answered: Transforming the Construction Cycle to Build Smart Buildings

Questions left unanswered during the webcast are answered here by Joe Richard

By Joe Richard August 25, 2021

During the Aug. 19, 2021, webcast on Transforming the Construction Cycle to Build Smart Buildings, several questions were left unanswered. Read about this topic in more depth.

Building owners and facility managers are under immense pressure to meet the requirements of the digital age and fourth industrial revolution. Market changes are multiplying operational pressures, while the accelerating climate crisis and its regulation are driving new and increasing sustainability requirements and goals.

Consulting engineers and other industry stakeholders can see the evolution of new digital systems and smart technologies that provide opportune insight into building performance and advanced intelligent architectures that can meet the needs of tenants and facility managers — before they even realize the needs exist. However, the established construction process is fraught with stumbling blocks to this necessary digital evolution.

Answered by: Joe Richard, Digital Transformation Leader, EcoStruxure Power Program, Schneider Electric

Question: After implementing technology what type of maintenance or what maintenance do you mean?

Richard: The maintenance discussed in this webinar concerned building infrastructure including electric power distribution, HVAC, room control, lighting or fire safety and sprinklers. It could also concern operational infrastructure such as the machines and automation used in manufacturing or business processes.

Question: This doesn’t seem to apply to small buildings, e.g., 15,000 to 20,000 square feet, which is most of the current building construction market. I can see this with large facilities and large enterprises with multiple facilities, e.g., college campus, hospital, etc.

Richard: Building size and therefore project budget limitations definitely can limit the design time allowed, but for those situations moving to repeatable “cookie cutter” solutions can drive the same efficiency and productivity solutions. Additionally, there are digital solutions for small buildings and retail markets that minimize customization and cost, but still provide efficiency, operational budget and digital information benefits.

Question: The current energy metering design process is very messy and certainly not integrated. How do we get an existing design team to coordinate the process when they all think they are doing a good job?

Richard: Project charters and owner project requirement documents can go a long way to communicate the desired outcomes of projects. Projected metering designers with a consolidated data source view and involving those design teams earlier in project life can help them understand how their scope fits into the overall project and help identify gaps and pitfalls earlier in a project.

Question: What do you think are the best current “internet of things” applications/devices that would return the best return on investment?

Richard: It very much depends on the situation and goals of the owners and operators. Start with a desired outcomes discussion during concept and design and work backward from there into the IoT applications that are needed. The owners project business case can drive the ROI discussion. Just be sure everyone is looking at total ownership inclusive of operational

Author Bio: Joe Richard, digital transformation leader, EcoStruxure Power Program, Schneider Electric