Phrases like distributed employees and virtual culture are jargons of not just the techie but also of the layperson. There are no siloes anymore! All technology in a building is being integrated. With IoT coming in and proving that data is accessible that too in a cost-effective manner, the game is changing, and is changing fast. It is daunting to keep up with all the tech, so companies are ensuring that they work within the bigger ecosystem that allows for more collaboration.
The Panel on “Rewriting the Rules: Smart Design Standards” aimed at highlighting how IoT is reframing design infrastructure and where the design industry is headed. The panel, organized by Eddy Solutions as part of the IoTPropTech Summit 2020, was moderated by Arnie Gess, President & Publisher, Construction Links Network, and included Glen Myrland (Director of Data and Technology, Eddy Solutions), Kevin Furlow (Senior Construction Risk Engineer, AXA XL), and Obhishek Bhattacharjee (Associate, Smith + Andersen).
Obhishek Bhattacharjee kicked off the panel discussion by saying “IoT has encouraged the industry to adapt to change at a much faster rate than it has ever before. A whole new set of protocols (Rest API, MSTP) have come in and now the industry is getting exposure to other networks such as LPWan and LoRa – these have been developed very sufficiently outside this industry, we are adapting well to it now and it is going to be more and more efficient soon”. He added that it has become financially viable to implement industrial-grade networks, industrial-grade servers, and most importantly an industrial-grade cybersecurity plan to secure data.
Kevin Furlow mentioned that the industry has responded well and the distance or the separation between design and construction has gotten shorter. The design team needs to understand what data can be collected and what data the owner wants to collect and make sure that the correct sensors and devices are installed to go with that program. There have been a lot of changes in a short period, the integration of technology is being accomplished and it’s benefitting us, he said.
Obhishek Bhattacharjee also pointed to the importance of design stating “people who used to work separately now need to collaborate and integrate which needs to be incorporated as part of the process and the design”.
Glen Myrland, Director of Product and Technology noted “ There are a lot of opportunities in terms of building smart cities. The benefits are varied including efficiencies, risk reduction cost savings, etc”. He further added that technology needs to be standardized to ensure wider acceptance and adoption. He felt that IoT has gotten some bad headlines and security and compliance considerations are equally important to combat the negative image.
On the question of whether the proliferation of Proptech is putting pressure on the engineering and insurance industries, the panel agreed that there is some pressure exerted just by the sheer number of solutions available and it’s important to sort through all of that and employ due diligence to ensure that the right decision is made.
Staying on the topic, Kevin noted that “PropTech is influencing the Contech and Insuretech with all three overlapping and often time working closely together. And, at AXA we have put together an ecosystem which is a curated set of technologies that will help customers reduce risk”. They are creating a tech library that will help companies to sort through what technology is available. He also spoke about some exciting technologies which are helping with safety like electrocution prevention and water leak management, mentioning solutions from Eddy that provide the ability to monitor water flow and shut down supply when needed to ensure safety from water leakages and damages.
From an engineering perspective, the panelists agreed, defining the outcome in specific terms is better. Glen echoed this sentiment and noted, “Businesses need to put a lot of thought into why and how they want to implement IoT into their solutions and what benefits they are hoping to achieve. Also, don’t get left behind, clearly, the trend is moving towards IoTPropTech adoption”.
The full webinar can be viewed here.
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