Energy Manager

Smart buildings: how do they affect YOU? • VIDEO

March 24, 2021
By Anthony Capkun

March 24, 2021 – Smart buildings promise their owners access to a near limitless stream of data, but what is being done with it? Is anyone using the data for anything useful?

In short, while the notion of the “smart building” is pervasive, we wanted to learn just how smart a “smart building” can be (or should be), and the real benefits for owners and tenants, as well as contractors and trades.

To that end, our sister brands On-Site, Electrical Business, and HPAC magazines—along with our valued sponsor Procore—teamed up to conduct a discussion with panelists from three leaders to explore the ways in which smart buildings are forcing jobsites—and its stakeholders—to evolve.


Moderated by David Kennedy, editor of On-Site Magazine, our esteemed panelists included Colin Flock of EllisDon, Erica Brabon of Black & McDonald, and Sam Boyajian of Modern Niagara.

As I watched this session (and I hope you do, too), I picked up on some key takeaways:

• You cannot have a smart building without a robust network infrastructure.

• With regard to technologies, avoid getting locked into the proprietary and seek out openness and interoperability.

• Don’t even think about “future-proofing” your smart building. It’s impossible. The future always brings new tech, so be flexible.

• With the flood of data, the need for AI and machine learning comes into greater focus. Ideally, our machines and systems will comb through all the data they are producing so they can monitor themselves, without human interaction, and only alert you when something weird is going on.

• Successful construction, especially in the smart building realm, requires partnerships.

These takeaways are just the tip of the iceberg. I strongly encourage you to listen to the conversation and then, no matter where you are in the construction chain, start thinking about how smart buildings affect you.

— Anthony Capkun, Editor,