A smart building uses technology to lower operating costs and serve up amenities
What makes a building a smart building? Well, it depends who you ask, according to Brandon Van Orden, senior vice president and chief information officer for Cousins Properties, which boasts a portfolio of more than 15 million square feet of Class A office space in Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Phoenix and Tampa.
Asked what makes a building smart, Van Orden told In-Building Tech, “I think that term is a big umbrella and I think it means different things to different people.”
To companies that operate and manage commercial real estate, a smart building is one that uses technology to reduce operational costs like with utilities management, for instance. “That’s very important to us,” Van Orden said. “The more we can automate, the more we can take advantage of technology helping us make those things more efficient in the building, we can kind of term that as being a smart building.”
But for tenants, engineering systems automation and building controls that reduce total power consumption by raising temperatures a fraction of a degree, aren’t necessarily very splashy. That’s when the smart building moniker begins to speak more to technology-based amenities.
Van Orden called out advanced parking and access controls as things Cousins’ customers deem “smart.” He said, “More amenities are becoming technology-based in our assets. I think that’s what our customers are looking for in a smart building.”
For more of Van Orden’s perspective on smart buildings, in-building connectivity and how commercial real estate professionals view 5G, check out this webinar.