Debunking the Top 5 Myths About Smart Buildings
By Mohsen Haj

Dubai is an economic engine with diverse talent being one of its greatest assets, according to Senior Consultant for Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), Mohsen Haj Hassan. He notes that attracting and retaining this talent requires modern building solutions able to cater to technological demands from a younger generation.

Leveraging modern technologies, such as IoT and intelligent data analytics, helps in enhancing the experience of occupants and creating more attractive places for professionals. Improvements can be tailored for individual occupants and their preferences using real-time data and predictive analytics to optimize an employees’ workplace experience. These partialities will also track and improve an occupant’s health, performance and productivity.

To Further Advocate Smart Building, Mohsen Debunks a Few Common Myths Surrounding This Technology:

  1. Smart Building Technologies are Expensive: While he agrees that perhaps the cost of installation can be expensive, he insists the technology itself will provide a higher rate on investments when you consider energy saving benefits and reduced operational costs.
  2. Smart Buildings Focus Exclusively on Energy: As suggested by the name, smart buildings are smart. This means that these buildings have systems that can detect and forestall the failure of mechanical equipment and devices. They can also define the life cycles of devices present in buildings; through this, facility management staff can repair or replace equipment at the right time, extending the devices’ life and reducing risks. The occurrence of full-scale building system failures whether in HVAC or plumbing is avoided by using these monitoring systems. He mentions these systems are crucial in medical laboratories and hospitals.
  3. Smart Buildings are Same as Green Buildings: Automation is the primary focus within smart building. Automation leads to maximization of energy efficiency, better air quality, and other green building strategies. Smart and green can have many factors in common, but they are not necessarily identical.
  4. Smart Buildings Can Only be Implemented on New Buildings: Many people assume that smart buildings only focus on new constructions, built from the ground up with different smart building design and architecture. Yes, new builds can take greater benefit, but old buildings can enjoy this technology. Smart power, energy send utilities are some areas that can be enhanced in old buildings. The installation of new devices and equipment such as sensors and IoT devices is relatively easy to add at any stage of a building’s life cycle.
  5. Smart Buildings are Complicated to Operate: Smart buildings are complex platforms, he agrees, as they can fulfill a wide variety of purposes across various industries. In fact, these platforms make it easier to operate and maintain buildings. Being able to integrate different systems within one main dashboard helps facility managers repair equipment and keep track of maintenance data to identify and rectify recurring equipment malfunctions and other service costs.

About the author: Mohsen Haj Hassan is the Senior Consultant for Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC).