09 Jan 2017
The founders of the internet couldn’t have imagined what it would become and do to the world, this was the opening line from Ted Maulucci, Chief Information Officer for the Tridel Group of Companies, at our our annual construction, building and real estate research conference.
But he also explains Seth Godin’s concept of the ‘Gulf of disapproval’ – that period when an idea is simply not popular with anyone and where those propounding it will need patience and courage.
Maulucci wanted to explore the smart buildings in his role at Tridel, but with no precedent it was difficult to know how to start – partnerships with businesses such as IBM and Cisco proved to be an important part of the equation. However smart buildings were still a hard sell to company directors; new ideas often do not have a business case.
The central brain and a leap of faith
Maulucci likens a smart building system to the nervous system in the body – everything linked to central ‘brain’. He realised that there was a need to keep educating everyone in the process so that they could fully understand what was being proposed.
Design needs to change to accommodate technological changes – for example understanding that there may be far less need for infrastructure space that can now be used for other purposes thanks to the efficiencies of new technology.
With persistence, says Maulucci, the C suite accepted that smart and connected buildings were going to happen so there was no reason not to do it, even without a traditional business case. Disruption, he affirms, needs a leap of faith.
Smart homes and healthcare
Seniors’ homes provided some of Tridel’s first successes when offering accommodation with bundles of communications services went down well with the market. Smart homes for older people could soon offer a ‘virtual healthcare system’ with furniture that monitors heart rate, and cameras to recognise movement for fall detection and alerts.
Another technology that could create radical change is power over Ethernet, where services and devices are powered over the network rather than wires, but again, designers need to know how concept works so it is efficiently designed in.
To create this future, Maulucci concludes, professionals must work together and be persistent in the fight to move things forward.
Watch the the full panel session
Ted Maulucci, Chief Information Officer for the Tridel Group of Companies
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