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Buildings That Think? University Hopes So


Can buildings think? Not yet, but if one university has its way, occupants of its facilities will be able to respond to and interact with occupants and managers in ways that will make the buildings safer, more comfortable and easier to navigate.

Read: Making sense of big data

Monash University in Australia has signed a collaboration agreement to use big data to deliver one of the world’s first cognitive office buildings, enabling buildings to intelligently and automatically alter the internal environment, transforming the way staff and students live, work and learn at the university, according to an article on OpenGovAsia.

The undertaking by Monash University brings together next-generation technology and research to change the way buildings are managed.

The size of the university’s campus and its energy requirements are similar to a small city, making it a good candidate for establishing a cognitive building, says Jon Whittle, a professor and faculty of information technology dean.

“As Australia’s largest university, with more than 78,000 students, 16,000 staff and over 150 buildings spread across four domestic campuses, we’re a significant consumer of energy,” Whittle says.

Read: Facilities, big data and human expertise

Using the convenience of smartphones, the university will deploy an app across the Clayton Campus to collect data on the way staff and students rate spaces, the way they navigate buildings and report faults, and how often and when they access buildings.

The data gathered from their buildings will allow Monash to optimize operations and investments. The data will feed into a command and control suite based in the future control room at Monash to connect key personnel with data visualizations. It will provide intuitive displays to building operations teams and allow them to enhance facilities and security management, as well as to create comfortable spaces for students and staff while reducing energy consumption.

This Quick Read was submitted by Dan Hounsell — dan.hounsell@tradepressmedia.com — editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions, and chief editor of Facilitiesnet.com.

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