In a webinar delivered on Wednesday, December 8, analysts from Verdantix’s smart buildings advisory group discussed 8 predictions for the smart building industry in 2022. Susan Clarke, research director; Dayann Charles Jeyamohan, industry analyst; Joy Trinquet, industry analyst; and Ibrahim Yate, senior analyst, teamed up to unveil and explain what they believe will shift the smart buildings landscape next year. Verndantix has made the webinar available for on-demand viewing. Here’s where you can find more information about it.
For now, without stealing too much of Verdantix’s thunder, here are the 8 topics that Verdantix’s analysts told us to watch for in 2022.
- Collaboration. The pandemic work environment proved employees can be productive while working remotely or in a hybrid environment. With that established, focus will shift from how to make workers productive, to how they can collaborate in remote/hybrid environments.
- Sophistication of energy management strategies. Building-to-grid interactions will take shape for more than just early adopters in 2022, Verdantix says.
- M&A among building-security tech providers. 2021 has been dotted with deals in which one widely known firm acquired another widely known firm. In 2022, we’re more likely to see firms with strength in one area (e.g. surveillance) making acquisitions that bring in other capabilities (e.g. access control).
- Continued investment in flex space. Real estate investors realize the pandemic’s prolonged existence creates uncertainty around the economic future of office space. Investing in flex space is a way for them to hedge.
- Cybersecurity. Where cybersecurity hasn’t already come to the forefront among smart building professionals, it will in 2022. It already is becoming more prominent, including some firms making cybersecurity demands in their requests for proposal.
- Rise in building certifications. ESG (environmental, social, governance) pressures will drive building owners to invest in attaining certifications for their properties. In a survey of North American property owners Verdantix conducted this year, 66% said within the next 12 months, they are likely to certify buildings to green and wellness standards. There’s also a growing connection between a building’s certification status and its lease rate.
- Commercial landlords begin to appreciate net zero. Several factors are driving commercial landlords to realize, finally, that net zero is important. Among those factors are pressure from investors to obtain higher rentals that net-zero properties can command, increased tenant demand for data that reflects the tenants’ ESG goals, and some regulatory issues.
- Digital twins continue to gain traction. Driven by smart cities moreso than smart buildings, digital twins are being recognized more and more for their ability to model and analyze interactions between buildings, power systems, and other infrastructure.
Before making these 8 predictions, the Verdantix analysts graded themselves on the accuracy of their predictions for 2021. They graded themselves on a scale of 0 to 3. It got low marks (1.5) for predicting that 2021 would see a shakeout of COVID-19 solutions as buyer looked beyond the pandemic, and that digital twins would focus on more complex properties. Verdantix graded itself at 2.0 for predicting that this year, building electrification would gain momentum through corporate energy management strategies. And it scored itself at 3.0 for predicting that integrated workplace management system (IWMS) providers would relaunch acquisition strategies, and that employment engagement apps would be the hottest battleground for smart office software providers.