Our industry's wagons are circling the productivity puzzle and its lucrative paybacks as we explore how our new IoT presence will provide more than energy and operating savings for our clients.

Now is the time for us as an industry to start staking our claims for pieces of puzzle that is the new gold rush of the built environment: satisfaction, wellness, comfort and the intersection of all three, productivity.

My thinking has evolved to the point of realizing that no one person or group can completely solve the productivity puzzle. It is a mosaic of comfort satisfaction and wellness control that includes temperature, humidity, IAQ, draft prevention, lighting level, lighting color, fenestration control, wellness, social media communication, digital mindfulness, psychology and more, all orchestrated with successful human interaction.

As an industry, we need to focus on the people (occupants) piece and document our claims so those crunching the data will know that the key to solving the puzzle rests with us.

So what kind of paybacks are possible? Let’s consider the puzzle from a building owner’s or manager’s perspective. According to Paul Oswald, Managing Director CBRE|ESI Global Workplace Solutions Global Energy & Sustainability, in a typical building, energy represents a $1 - $9 per square foot cost item. Lease/maintenance and operations represent a $10 - $99 per square foot cost, and people (occupants) represent a $100 - $999 per square foot cost.

As an industry, we need to focus on the people (occupants) piece and document our claims so those crunching the data will know that the key to solving the puzzle rests with us. I think it is good to think of our products and services as simply pieces of that bigger puzzle and design and innovate them constantly while exploring and documenting how they could fit into several productivity profiles.

To even further complicate things, how we define productivity is rapidly changing. This from Comfy, a productivity pioneer in the building automation industry:

Human-centered workplaces seem like a no-brainer. For employers, these spaces have the potential to improve employee engagement and retention, as well as productivity. For building owners, they can lead to higher tenant occupancy rates and increased asset value. So, we know that satisfying the wants and needs of occupants is important, but what do they want, anyway?

(Read more at https://www.comfyapp.com/blog/what-occupants-want/)

So, what are some of the parts of productivity puzzle that we as an industry have already documented? You can see for yourself in our online library:


AutomatedBuildings.com hopes to be not only the catalysis/harbinger of The IoT Future of the built environment, it also strives to be the industries' keeper of your thought. Creating this online collaboration over the last 19 years has been a labour of love. It reminds me that this is not just my story, but the story of industry giants and their powerful thoughts.

Concepts like, BACnet from the beginning are now being evolved into comfort satisfaction and people driven solutions by productivity pioneers like Comfy and others.

Amazing efforts forging open source standards like Haystack having the potential to provide us a common language that will allow a shared machine-readable tags for everything.

And of course, we now have Big Data and analytics to take advantage of it all. (You can read more about the latest Big Data developments in last month’s, Analytics creates transparency.)

Our industry is opening a whole new frontier, so get out there and stake your claim!

My most recent editorials here in The Connected Contractor:

Where comfort, satisfaction and wellness intersect

Plus, Human beings as part of the Internet of Things