The Evolution of the Building Platform
The age of IoT, IP and digital transformation are increasingly common across a range of industries and are revolutionizing them. No industry is immune, and most certainly, not ours.
The past several years has demonstrated that digital transformation and the evolving of IoT and IP within the built environment continues on an upward climb, delivering undeniable value to owners, operators and occupants alike. The rate of change can be attributed not only to diverse technologies and innovation, but also changes driven by connectivity, the Edge, the value of data, the Cloud, cyber and new business outcomes.
With this evolution, we’ve seen the emergence of more advanced buildings and what they are capable of delivering and what we are asking them to deliver. Instead of being static structures, digital transformation and IoT have turned facilities into dynamic environments fostering innovation, producing improved operational performance and creating meaningful, occupant experiences.
Alongside of this transformation has been the accelerated evolution of how we identify the “building platform”. We first began this journey with the Building Automation Platform. Simply put, Building Automation Platforms controlled and monitored the building's mechanical and electrical equipment such as HVAC, lighting, power and security systems.
Next, as buildings became more technology-enabled, we moved to the Building Integration Platform. The Building Integration Platform acted as a front-end and protocol translator and coordinated the operation of various systems, equipment, applications and services. It formed a middleware framework that enabled for the integration and interoperability of multiple systems and equipment functions across the building and an enterprise.
Then, as we added “smart” and “intelligent” to the equation we moved to the Building Operating Platform. The Building Operating Platform, connected, integrated and correlated data from facility equipment, systems and devices, and enabled facility personnel and operators to adopt a converged and common network to achieve automation, integration, energy and operational efficiencies. It provided operators with a system from which to manage and understand how their buildings were performing, managed energy and made use of a common user interface to all systems, equipment and devices.
Let’s turn to today. Leveraging digital technology is not new. What is different is what I call the Building Engagement Platform. Our buildings are no longer passive places where we just work. They are digitally enabled, and they are social. They have become ecosystems and places of engagement in which there are interactions between occupants and their surrounding environments, communications between IT and OT, exchanges between HR and facility management---all to create engaging experiences to make the workplace smart, comfortable, safe, productive, healthy, secure, achieve higher levels of performance and become adaptive, meaningful environments.
The Building Engagement Platform combines previous platform generations on a flatten, secured, IP horizontal architecture, with the touchpoints, tools, ingestion of real-time data streams and workplace applications. It streamlines efficiencies, manages workflows and allows for collaboration and information sharing in order to meet occupant experience expectations, drive new service delivery and produce new outcomes. The most important perspective resulting from the building engagement platform is the relationship between technology and outcomes and the roles each play in driving value.
Our engagement with buildings and facilities is constant and far from finished. The building platform journey is continuous. Whether, you are an owner, operator, service provider or occupant, you have expectations when it comes to an engagement experience. The role of IP and IoT, as well as transformation, is essential in this evolution and continues to change the market. Buildings, that don’t follow this evolution, will have decreased value.