The office building of 2030 will draw on new tech, sensors, and advances in AI to increase efficiency while also improving occupants’ quality of life, according to a report.
The Future of the Office Building by private equity firm CB Insights looks at how heat pumps and artificial intelligence are making buildings greener and safer.
It states that the building management role of the future will be much more defined by familiarity with and adoption of new tech and new business models.
Local and regional regulations for energy efficiency and GHG emission reductions will drive initial uptake of new energy-efficient tech, while new business models for office buildings (like virtual power plants) will accelerate adoption of this tech.
Meanwhile, digitisation of energy management will spread to other aspects of the building, culminating in the creation of digital twins that can increase building operation efficiency and sustainability. A digital twin is a virtual representation of a real object or set of
objects, constructed with plenty of real-world data collected from IoT sensors.
After an initial model is created, digital twins undergo simulations to provide performance feedback under various scenarios, without having to test the actual system. The insights gained from digital twins are used to improve the real object, and then new data is fed
into the digital twin model. For example, a manager overseeing an office building’s HVAC system may want to know how much energy-saving they’ll see by upgrading to a new heat pump. IoT sensors are already in place to monitor room conditions like temperature and humidity, as well as the energy consumption of the current HVAC system. Using IoT data and some 3D modelling, the building manager can construct a digital twin of the office building and run heat pump simulations on the digital twins to determine the potential benefits of installing heat pump tech.
The report adds that interest in the metaverse, along with falling costs of sensor tech and increasing costs of facilities management, will drive adoption of digital twins, pioneered by tech companies that already have stakes in the metaverse.