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Smart Buildings – What can AI teach us?

Nicolas Waern comments on asking ChatGPT what we should do with Smart Buildings and the need for Subject Matter Experts

A city skyline generated by Midjourney in October 2022
Imaginary smart building city skyline generated by Midjourney in November 2022

Why do we not have smart buildings everywhere?

There are several reasons why intelligent buildings are not more widespread.

One reason is the cost and complexity of implementing smart building technology. Creating a smart building requires a significant investment in technology and infrastructure, and this can be prohibitively expensive for many organizations.

Another reason is that many technical challenges are still associated with building smart buildings. For example, there are often compatibility issues between different types of smart building technology, and integrating these technologies can be difficult. Additionally, there are concerns about data security and privacy in smart buildings, which can make some organizations hesitant to adopt this technology.

Lastly, there is a lack of standards and regulations for smart buildings. This can make it difficult for companies to know what technology to use, and can also make it challenging for smart buildings to interoperate with each other. Until these issues are resolved, smart buildings will likely remain relatively rare.

Comment 1

  • I like how it sort of gets it right. But misses out on some of the nuances in the real world. Everything is costly when you have no idea what the benefits are. Implementing Smart Buildings does not have to be costly in comparison to the benefits looking at it from a benefits stacking approach and across the 3/30/300 rule.
  • And by using a proper methodology to invite to innovate in buildings doesn’t have to be complex. The road toward all smart buildings is the same as it’s always unique and depends on the existing challenges, needs, and wants of the users of any asset. And the ones managing the asset and everything else. The main thing is how fast you can get people to be on the same page regarding where the building is today and then move together toward a better future in steps.
    – Nicolas Waern

What do we need to do to assure that all buildings in the world are smart?

To ensure that all buildings in the world are smart, there are several key steps that need to be taken.

There needs to be a concerted effort to develop and implement smart building technology. This will require investments in research and development, as well as the creation of standards and regulations that can help to ensure that smart building technology is interoperable and secure.

There needs to be a focus on making smart building technology more accessible and affordable. This could involve things like creating financial incentives for organizations to adopt smart building technology, or developing new technologies that are less expensive and easier to implement.

There needs to be a focus on educating and training people on how to use and maintain smart building technology. This could involve creating new educational programs and certifications that can help people learn the skills they need to work with smart buildings.

Creating a world where all buildings are smart will require a combination of technological innovation, accessibility, and education. By focusing on these key areas, it may be possible to create a future where all buildings are smart and connected.

Comment 2

  • Again, on the creation of standards. I do not necessarily think there’s a penultimate need to create new standards. Or even rally together to decide on one standard to use. I do, however believe that it is important to utilize standards and align development efforts with existing standards. Where it needs to be much easier to understand what standards have been used, where, and how. Thus making it easier to align with standards and create understandable recipes in how to correctly apply them and in what order. Not only from a BAS/BMS perspective but across the real estate industry as a whole, potentially utilizing visual/virtual Digital Twins to explain this better between new and experienced people across industries relevant to the real estate realm.
  • The second and the third recommendation I really like since this is what I am doing with investing in an education company called Tenyne focusing on XR education. And also through incentivizing energy efficiency through Dcarbon Solutions where we want to reward people for saving energy whilst providing storage and computing power to a global insight network. Where the aim is to create a #web3 future (decentralized) where all buildings are smart, and connected – AND where the participants are rewarded for their efforts instead of exploited.
    – Nicolas Waern
Yet another midjourney generated image – feels a bit like the end of I robot but possibly focusing on Smart Smart Buildings


I really like ChatGPT, and I tell my co-workers to become experts in it and to automate everything that they do. Trying their best to remove themselves from the equation. The marketing team, the AI team as well as the developers and project managers. Because there will be a point where AI will rule the world even more so than the news of AI. Fake news will go rampant, and we will not be able to easily trust anything that we see (considering deep fakes) or what we hear if we trust that Microsoft can take 3 seconds of your voice and make it into something that sounds like you.

But we are not necessarily there yet. At least not when it comes to the future of Smart Buildings being predicted by AI. This is the benefit of having been in the business for some time and understanding what needs to be done. We already have the tools at our disposal, and we could solve all problems if we just understood how to apply them correctly in the correct order. Or how to invite the right people to innovate with our buildings and manage risk in the best way possible.

What you wish for

For instance, I asked ChatGPT about the benefits of Edge-native journeys, and it said that it was far superior to cloud-native journeys. Great! And then I asked what the benefits of cloud-native journeys are. And of course, it said that cloud-native journeys were far superior to edge-native journeys! This could mean that it’s someewhere inbetween and it takes a subject matter expert to get you to the last 20% of the journey.

And most importantly, make sure that the 80% is spent doing the right things. Because there’s nothing as useless as doing something great that shouldn’t have been done at all. I think it will be easier to get started and potentially also much easier to get things wrong. This is why I urge everyone to listen in to all of the sessions at the AHRexpo and learn how the Metaverse could help us with all of this, and why hybrid journeys might be the way toward BAS/BMSs in the cloud.

How do I know all of this?

Because it’s my job to know what the future will do in a week, a month, a year from now. And if you want to create the future before everyone else? Reach out to me and we’ll make it happen!


Nicolas Waern
CEO, Founder and Digital Twin Specialist at WINNIIO Consulting

Nicolas Waern is the CEO, Strategy & Innovation Leader, and a Digital Twin Implementation Specialist at the consulting firm WINNIIO. He is a firm believer that the Real Estate Industry needs more of a lifecycle focus where we need to go Beyond Buildings and come back with an understanding what tools and technology we could use. And to solve the jobs to be done, together, with an open mindset.

Nicolas is working with leaders in several industries to understand how they can succeed in the age of AI. Predicting what the world will do in a week, a month, a year from now and to best utilize strategies and solutions that pass the test of time. He does this through a Digitalization- on Demand approach for anyone that needs to change before they have to.

Nicolas is also a Podcast Creator & Newsletter Editor for Beyond Buildings
Thought Leader regarding Smart Buildings & Building Automation for AutomatedBuildings
Speaker and Influencer Event Streaming Platforms as the Holy Grail for Industry 4.0 Applications
Subject Matter Expert Real Estate Digitalization Proptech Digitalization Expert
Active Member of Digital Twin working groups Digital Twin Subject Matter Expert