I just received a tweet from my building telling me and my followers that I saved 13% on my energy bill today because it automatically has lowered my air-conditioning and lighting levels because it’s such a great day out there. This tweet triggered an update to the energy management LinkedIn Group and has started a conversation with other buildings on how to learn from one another and further drive energy optimization. The Smart Grid is a happy member of this group. This discussion is closely followed by the stakeholders in the facilities management world who now get their continued education directly from building communications on the LinkedIn platform.
Meanwhile, a fellow building occupant just posted an update on FaceBook to say that the carpet has a stain. My building already responded and told my fellow occupant it’s on it. Quickly a tweet is shared with the local janitor on the nearest floor to go and clean the carpet. A quick reply tweet with “complete” from the janitor via his tablet device informed my fellow occupant and everyone else in the social network that the matter is dealt with. The building manager is following all this exchange from his home office while he monitors other vitals of my building.
My building is monitoring activity on social media as it relates to the feedback of its building users. Although all concerns and comments that are posted online and those that are triggered by my building itself are handled in the blink of an eye, my building decides to post some special deals on GroupOn for its Twitter followers and Facebook friends.
A day in the life of my building looks very different from what it was only a few years go. My building is an active participant on social media, and uses the dialogue with like-minded buildings and all its occupants to constantly optimize itself and improve performance and user experience.
I just made all this up, and I could have gone on for a while longer. I actually don’t have a building (yet) that participates in Social Media more than I do. But it is not far from reality, and I know our friends at George Brown College and others are already experimenting with this.
Out there, we are networking our infrastructure (buildings, roads, transportation). We instrument and interconnect all systems and devices (including my personal devices) over converged IP networks. Data is served up to cloud-based applications that provide advanced analytics and the consequent ability to improve our infrastructure’s performance. If our buildings are becoming that intelligent, they may as well participate in social networks and become active users of social media.
In here lies a whole untapped opportunity: maybe “just” cool for now, but certainly promising for the (near) future. The outlook is bright for intelligent buildings. A Smart + Connected Real Estate is a gift that keeps on giving. No more static environments. No more costly moves and changes. No more expensive locked in services and applications. Our future infrastructure portfolio is “open” to those that can add incremental value to it. Let the real industry transformation begin with the latest trends in technology and innovation.