Quality, Consequences and the Construction Industrial Complex (part 239).
What happens when due to IoT + 5G + machine learning & AI, owners can see in real time;
1. Energy use and costs down to system and component level?
2. Calculate building carbon emissions?
3. Hold their design and construction teams accountable based on 1 & 2 above?
The short answer is consequences, because the good and the bad become visible.
Building performance is a design intention that is driven by commodity prices, market forces and technology. I believe the age of building certifications is coming to an end and we are entering an age of “evidence based building design” driven by measurement & surveillance technology.
“S Curves” Driving Building Performance
This new age will fundamentally change the relationship between building designers, construction teams and owners due to consequences from real time performance feed back.
This is analogous to the way employers are now micromanaging their employees via surveillance and measurement techniques to drive efficiency and drive down costs, i.e. wages & salaries.
Think about the current status quo that works to the detriment of the owner and society in general. The building design team rarely suffer consequences for poor performance. In fact they have perfected the amazing trick of having the owner pay for their errors & omissions via change orders and the construction contingency fund. The construction team is rewarded via their contract for cheap substitutions and short cuts due to a lack of accountability for quality issues.
In North America construction firms only offer 12 month warranty and no latent defects period. Therefore after 12 months the design and construction team are off the hook and basically flee the project like it was a crime scene, which frankly, it is some times.
In the future, owners will be able to measure everything. They will know what equipment performs poorly, what systems work and understand real running costs. With this knowledge they will introduce performance accountability into their contractual relationships with design and construction teams.
When this happens the addressable, competent pool of design and construction firms will shrink by ~50% IMHO. The good will get paid and the poor performers will go out of business.
“You cannot manage what you do not measure” (Peter Drucker). The measurement and data flows for evidence based design and construction are:
- Buildings measure building systems, equipment and significant component performance in real time.
- Owners plus FM teams collect and analyse this information – building data analyst will become a high paying job.
- Real time data will be used to develop algorithms for Cx, FM and continuing Cx.
- Yearly building performance data will be sold to design firms and other less technology forward developers for “right sizing” and guiding design decisions during the building design process.
- ASHRAE, CIBSE, RICS et al will be late to this game and cling to old design guides and standards making design firms reluctant to use real performance data. A “premier league” of design firms will emerge and ASHRAE, CIBSE, RICS et al will become less relevant.
- Construction performance will be tested and verified during Cx and FM. The results will speak for themselves and poor construction quality will be punished by owners. A “premier league” of construction firms will emerge.
Future Building Performance Evidence (Data) Flow Cycles
Who needs “Green Building” certifications when performance can be monitored in real time? Anyone ready for this emerging brave new world?
My prediction is that this “new world” will NOT come from North America as they will cling to their building certification programs. Change will come from Asia and Europe. As a Canadian I want this change to come from North America so please anyone, prove me wrong!
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