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Are You Feeling Connected?

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The explosion of devices connected to the Internet of everything is changing all aspects of life, including how we interact with and operate facilities. Instead of having automation technology solely managed in a command center, cloud solutions and mobile applications are becoming prevalent.
At the Honeywell Users Group in Phoenix, industry experts convened for a panel discussion on smart buildings and IoT, highlighting the impact of technology on today’s culture and how it’s spilling into the facilities realm. Moderated by John Picard from John Picard & Associates, the conversation was led by Kirsten Ritchie, director of sustainable design at Gensler, and Chris Magee, executive director of sustainable facilities for MGM Resorts.
Question: How is the onslaught of new technology impacting the design of buildings?
Kirsten Ritchie: “Work is a deliverable, no longer a place. People aren’t tethered to their workspaces, and building systems need to mobile and flexible as well.”
Chris Magee: “I’m responsible for delivering technical transparency in the buildings. CFOs want to know how buildings are performing, for example. The Department of Energy wants to see energy reductions.”
Question: How are you using technology to improve the customer experience?
Chris Magee: “We have been working with mobile technology to reduce the amount of time that customers have to stand in line to check into our hotels, whether this is a pre check they can accomplish prior to travelling or mobile check at the hotel. These types of changes can have a significant impact on our guests’ experience.”
Kristen Ritchie: “Queues are proof of a design flaw in the building process and technology. Customers’ willingness to wait in line has diminished with the ability to buy online, expectations of instant service have grown exponentially with technology.”
Question: How do you implement new technologies to help improve operations?
Kristin Ritchie: “We work with clients to understand the technology innovations that would have a positive impact on their building. Generally, we try the technology on a test site to gauge the true impact. If it proves to be stable and deliver value, we look to roll it out to other facilities.”