Do smart building ratings make buildings better?

14 December 2023

As mentioned in an earlier post, the Arcadis team gave a presentation on the increasing number of physical and digital accreditation schemes for buildings at the Smart Buildings Show in 2021. I was hoping to run another panel at a smart building conference early next year possibly connected to this, but sadly that is not going to happen now. And, so, instead I decided to share it on LinkedIn instead (see here). Maybe, this could be the basis for an article without having to put on a panel.

As I explained on LinkedIn, I thought I’d explain a little about my market engagement approach first because it is not unlike the video below of Nile Rogers explaining how he co-wrote ‘We Are Family’ for Sister Sledge:

Short version is that I speak to stakeholders across the smart buildings ecosystem all the time. As I take notes during those conversations, some of the points raised stand out and particularly when the same or similar sentiment is echoed by others.

As a result, that process helps me rate the pertinency of the themes that emerge but at the same time the posts on here and articles I put together tend to write themselves (as do the questions I ask of panels and as part of round table sessions). I think that is also why they resonate more than traditional research and particularly market analysis that relies on curating published material in the public domain.

It’s probably not a big surprise that Smart Building ratings come up in discussions often and what is liked about them by those at the sharp end of deployment is when they help ensure that designs and what gets deployed consider things like resilience, capacity and diversity. However, that is arguably something that should now be common/best practice.

What is not liked about them is when they promote installing tech for the sake of it. That is also how and why they get gamed to get higher ratings. As one participant from one of the panels I put together this year pointed out:

In an age where we should be trying to make better sustainable procurement decisions, it smacks in the face.

The point being made is that a rating should help ensure that a digital building can adapt to tenants demands i.e., not just rate a building smart because it has loads of tech that delivers user functionality that tenant/occupiers might not want or value. What often follows is a discussion about which rating approach is more sustainable and realistic.

I don’t think it is by job to either denigrate or champion a particular rating approach. I mention all this because I am just not seeing discussions like this being facilitated by events and that being another backdrop to what I write about. Hence writing about them on here and LinkedIn, as well as incorporating the talking points into the round tables and panels I help with. Here’s hoping that I could be doing more of this at Smart Buildings Show again and other events next year.

About Me

I’m an author and market engagement specialist who helps joins the dots between research, innovation, go-to-market activation and business transformation around 3 core activities: content, connections and conversations. Connect with me on LinkedIn or get in touch there.