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Smart Buildings More Popular in Education than Before Pandemic

In a recent global survey, two-thirds of school and college facilities managers (65 percent) were more likely to invest in smart building solutions now than they were pre-pandemic. However, no single smart building investment dominated. The top choice, among 38 percent 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 percent), and cybersecurity products and contactless building entry, both mentioned by 33 percentof 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 percent) said their facilities had experienced a physical site intrusion or cybersecurity breach during the previous year. Almost half (47 percent) 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 percentprioritized these safety technologies), data centers (38 percent) and commercial real estate (29 percent).

Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) said they found it difficult to keep up with changes in technology. Yet a third (35 percent) also noted that their facilities technology is outdated.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 percent;
  • Aspirating smoke detection, 34 percent;
  • Remote building management, 34 percent;
  • Software to assess fire systems 32 percent; and
  • Real-time building health information, 28 percent.

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

A report of the findings is available with registration on the Honeywell website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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