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What are the standards for “smart buildings”?

Disruption in the real estate industry is coming to a head thanks to smart technologies being implemented throughout buildings.

Two contributing factors of this change comes from the property sector becoming more tech-oriented (proptech) and urban environments and buildings interacting through digital innovations.

These smart buildings foster productivity, efficiency and the well-being of their clients.

Still, smart buildings need to find a way to address the lack of common standards and metrics in order to fully realize their value.

Similar to green buildings’ LEED certification, smart buildings need to come with a set of standards that certify their performances. The lack of consensus among stakeholders has prevented the attempts to design evaluation frameworks and smartness scores.

So far, the most well-known corporate indicator of building smartness is the Honeywell Building Score (HSBS) that was compiled by Honeywell. It covers three characteristics: greeness, safety, and productivity.

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An alternative to corporate indicators of smart buildings are public indicators that are created by industry organizations, academics and/or governments. Countries have adopted various key performance indicators (KPIs) for its smart buildings. For example, Europe’s Smart Readiness Index (SRI) is geared towards sustainability, while USA’s Building Intelligence Quotient (BiQ) emphasizes cost effectiveness.

Another important factor for stakeholders to keep in mind is the cyber-risks imposed by technologies within smart buildings.

Real estate has been the target of numerous cybersecurity breaches. In 2013, hackers gained access to up to 40 million debit and credit card users of retail store Target, which was stolen through the company’s heat and air-conditioning operator.

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