Understanding The Smart Building Development Journey

Jun. 21, 2022

The Smart Building Development journey can eventually lead to the delivery of genuinely interactive and transformative experiences for tenants and building users, but the Smart Building Development process should be seen as an iterative journey, rather than a single one-off technology delivery project.


To achieve a Holistic Smart Building experience, end‐users will typically need to work through three phases. Spaceti & Memoori have developed a simple market model, shown below, to help understand the smart building development journey.

This model identifies 3 key phases:

  1. Passive: Whereby IoT sensors are embedded into individual building systems or the fabric of the building itself in order to gather and analyze systems performance, environmental and/or space utilization data.
  2. Active: Where, data by building users are inputted into software systems such as desk or meeting room software, augments data from IoT sensors, and is used to drive analytics and systems settings.
  3. Interactive / Dynamic: Where data from both IoT sensors and software systems are integrated into a single interactive solution; with automated IoT data collection and software‐based user inputs being used to provide a much more granular view of building performance as well as dynamic systems responses.

While the aspiration of building owners and tenants may be to achieve the kinds of holistic, interactive, and dynamic performance that can be achieved in phase 3 of this model, very rarely will they have the necessary skills, awareness, or systems integration capabilities required at the start of their delivery journey to achieve this.

Challenges and requirements

End-users often have an idea of what their key priorities and overall delivery aspirations are at the beginning of smart building development project, but many underestimate the challenges and prerequisite datasets required to deliver on their vision. It can be extremely challenging if not impossible to foresee what the ideal smart building specifications and systems architecture would look like before you take your first steps on the journey of a smart building solution development.

Pre‐planning systems elements including data inputs, interfaces, functionality requirements, systems access requirements, rules, and definitions of user roles will likely seem an overwhelming and unfathomable exercise at the start. Therefore, instead of jumping in at the deep‐end seeking to develop a fully integrated, Holistic Smart Building from scratch, end‐users should begin their smart building development journey at either the Passive Phase (Phase 1) or Active Phase (Phase 2).

Landlords and property owners might also begin their smart building development journey with the intention of developing their own custom, in‐house smart building data management, and reporting solution, but such an approach can often prove costly and ineffective.

Platform‐based approach

With a platform‐based approach to smart building data management and reporting, it is not only realistic, but also advisable to initially focus on key priority areas, delivering returns and business value as soon as possible, before subsequently adding additional modules, tools, and functionality as your level of experience improves, the value proposition of initial investments is effectively tested, and further potential enhancements and use‐cases emerge.


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If you have any questions or want more information about smart building development, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Maria Boichenko