Smart Buildings More Popular in Ed than Pre-Pandemic

A global survey among school and college facilities managers found that two-thirds (65%) were more likely to invest in smart building solutions now than they were before the pandemic. However, no single smart building investment dominated. The top choice, among 38% of respondents, would be an app showing real-time building "health" information. That was followed by software providing better insight into fire systems (cited by 35%), and cybersecurity products and contactless building entry, both mentioned by 33% of survey participants.

The survey was undertaken on behalf of Honeywell Building Technologies and involved education facilities people in four countries: the United States, China, Germany and Saudi Arabia.

Four in 10 respondents (42%) said their facilities had experienced a physical site intrusion or cybersecurity breach during the previous year. Almost half (47%) ranked video surveillance and campus access control or fire and life safety systems as a top priority over the next 12 to 18 months. That's a boost up from three other sectors also surveyed, including healthcare (where 34% prioritized these safety technologies), data centers (38%) and commercial real estate (29%).

Nearly three-quarters (72%) said they found it difficult to keep up with changes in technology. Yet a third (35%) also noted that their facilities technology is outdated. Among the technology currently in place in their buildings were these:

  • Indoor air quality solutions, referenced by 35%;
  • Aspirating smoke detection, 34%;
  • Remote building management, 34%;
  • Software to assess fire systems 32%; and
  • Real-time building health information, 28%.

When it comes to the technology in their facilities, just two-thirds of respondents (66%) reported that their employees were trained and equipped to manage it.

The full report is available with registration on the Honeywell site.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.