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Driving Outcomes with Smarter Buildings

By, Marc Petock

Smart buildings are amid the most transformative and compelling period we have seen over the last twenty-five years. New demands from the business and economic side of managing buildings have rewritten the rules. Suffice it to say that managing and operating buildings is also harder today than in the past. And the hardest task is to incorporate an approach that includes specifically identified outcomes combined with deciding what needs to be done now and what can wait.

The built environment is living up to the adage that the only constant is change. It continues to be a year of resilience and change—driven by new demands from the business and economic side of operating and managing buildings. While not all building-type segments will be equal, some will continue to grow, while others will contract a bit.

Building operators who will thrive in this new cycle of building management will not always be clamouring over the shiniest new things but doing something in different ways that generate new value and deliver new business/economic and operational outcomes.

The common aspect between all of these is driving outcomes. When it comes to technology, it can either be the anchor that drags down outcomes or the mainsail driving outcomes. Smarter buildings are not just about installing smarter technology. Technology is simply an enabler and a means to drive outcomes. Smarter building outcomes are about solving owner/operator challenges and achieving business, strategic, financial and marketability outcomes.

Today’s owners and operators want solutions to help them maximize their business outcomes. This has largely been driven by changes in conversations that include the importance of smart technology and the solutions that “pay its way”. Facility operators are looking for ways to improve the current order of business, solve immediate challenges and pain points, and change operational models (i.e., hybrid workplace, new compliance and regulatory mandates, occupant experience, energy and sustainability and resiliency).   

There are two key “outcome categories” within smarter buildings—economic/business and operational, with each having a set of objectives to deliver:  


  • Lower real estate costs
  • Reduce budgetary uncertainty across a building portfolio.
  • Asset and Property Value
  • Risk Mitigation
  • Maximize NOI
  • Marketability  
  • CAPEX/OPEX Balance
  • Resiliency
  • Extended equipment lifetime
  • Capital Planning
  • Do more with less.


  • Cost Reduction & Efficiencies
  • Performance-Driven Operations
  • Reign in Energy and Water Consumption Costs
  • Maintenance (Reduced number of unplanned incidents/resolve incidents faster)
  • Ensure a Healthy, Safe and Secure Building.
  • Cybersecurity
  • Compliance and Regulatory Requirements.
  • Energy and Sustainability
  • Occupant Experience
  • Data and workflow integration and sharing
  • Space Optimization
  • Centralize Operations/Applying Best Practices Portfolio Wide.
  • Certification
  • Maximize Equipment Lifespan.
  • Eliminate Vendor Lock-in
  • System Interchangeability and Interoperability

For the smarter built environment today, the challenge is not the need for smart technology or solutions, but rather, it is the willingness and preparation to take advantage of them. It is the understanding of the insights and outcomes that reshapebuildings to make them smarter.