Lis Christy / Stacey Vaeth Photography
Wanda Lau

ICYMI: When sparks fly

Nov. 14, 2023
Editorial director Wanda Lau signs off on the last digital issue of Smart Buildings Technology magazine.

Starting a campfire takes luck, know-how, and a spark. When weather conditions look promising, you can start gathering the materials: dry needles, paper bits, sticks, and the heavy-hitter logs. Flint for the experts, a match for all others, and before long, you are wrapped in a radiant bubble of heat and light.

Starting a media brand in the digital and information age also requires the right elements. You see a need in the industry, gather subject matter experts and enthusiastic editorial and sales staff, and mark a go-live date on the calendar. Next thing you know, Smart Buildings Technology (SBT) is in its third year.

But unforeseen circumstances can arise that force you to extinguish your fire earlier than expected. Prior to Endeavor Business Media’s acquisition of BUILDINGS magazine in spring 2022, the 117-year-old brand had a dedicated Smart Buildings channel on its website. After a detailed editorial review and consultation with our advertising partners, we have decided to no longer produce SBT in a digital magazine format and to move the archive of articles, news, white papers, and podcasts on to the BUILDINGS website. As a result, this is the last digital issue of SBT, the 11th in an award-winning run that began in June 2021.

I am proud of what SBT accomplished in its short tenure. We introduced tens of thousands of readers across the architecture, engineering, construction, and operations industry to groundbreaking individuals, projects, cities, and technologies that are leveling up the built environment to the cleaner and more efficient version necessary for sustaining life as we know it. We published hundreds of articles, garnering an estimated quarter-million page views (readership wasn’t tracked the first year), and grew a strong following on social media. SBT won one national and two regional gold Azbee awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and was named a finalist for best climate change coverage in the Jesse H. Neal Awards.

Selfishly, I had the opportunity to meet and learn from an incredible group of stakeholders who simply get smart buildings—the architects, planners, and designers who care to ask, “Did it work?” and “Can we do it better?”; the engineers who bridge design disciplines and dare venture into the IT and OT space; and the facilities managers who can end the best-laid plans by switching to manual override, but choose to troubleshoot alongside fellow design, engineering, and IT teams to identify what works best for occupants, budgets, and the environment.

Perhaps that’s what is most exciting about smart buildings. Like a fire, they require the right combination of timing, players, and technologies to illuminate the world. And our smart buildings fire will continue to burn bright as a key content channel on the BUILDINGS website.

About the Author

Wanda Lau | Editorial Director

Wanda Lau is the editorial director of Smart Buildings Technology, LEDs Magazine, and Architectural SSL. She is an award-winning editor, writer, and podcaster whose work appears in several publications, including Architectural Lighting and Architect, where she was most recently the executive editor. In 2021, she was named one of Folio: and AdMonsters' Top Women in Media, in the DEI Champions category. Along with working a decade in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry, she holds a B.S. in civil engineering from Michigan State University, an S.M. in building technology from MIT, and an M.A. in journalism from Syracuse University.

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