Technology Record - Issue 25: Summer 2022

64 V I EWPO I NT of using digital twins and mixed reality to accelerate change in buildings is exciting, but I’m also a realist. There is no doubt that change in the built environment is going to take time because shedding traditional practices will be a leap of faith for many, so it’s no wonder that we see a degree of decision paralysis in real estate owners and operators. Those taking the leap need expert hands on their shoulders. The technologies that underpin our future – IoT, AI, 5G and others – are complex, and they fit into an even more complex picture when you think about how they will work with modern buildings. Today a building’s architecture must also incorporate a specialised computing strategy and the infrastructure to support it. There are many questions to ask, including is it sensible to send all my building’s data to the cloud? How much value can I get by aggregating my enterprise building data and bringing external sources into my information mix? Should you purchase advanced devices that may be more expensive, but can remain usable for longer than cheaper options – where does the investment balance lie? And how much operational separation do I need between my building’s connected systems as part of a robust cybersecurity strategy? Honestly, it’s hard for real estate owners to even conceive of all the questions they should ask themselves when commissioning a new or retrofit smart building project. This excites me as I’ve lived and breathed advanced technology for decades, and now that I’m working with a team that is helping customers to translate complexity into simple strategic plans that deliver massive value, I get to take part in yet another revolution. The software-defined building The future will stretch everyone’s imagination so let me frame my vision in a mental image; the software-defined building. JCI’s OpenBlue Platform is a torchlight. It allows buildings to be mirrored, element by element, in the cloud for real-time control, and turned into updatable assets in the same way that cars are becoming updatable, and your smartphone has been for years. The value will be immense. For building owners, their asset will be future-proofed as equipment can remain current without massive hardware replacements. In addition, JCI has reinvented how we charge for our services, focusing on expected outcomes, guaranteed in some cases, and a recurring charge model that offsets heavy upfront investment by clients. It shifts the project risk onto JCI so making it easier for customers to engage. I love all of this – roll on the future! Rodney Clark is chief commercial officer at Johnson Controls “ JCI is leading the deployment of new technology across the built environment” Johnson Controls is a key partner in the retrofit of the Empire State Building, helping to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions significantly