The mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) sector needs to catch up with the Internet of Things (IoT), according to an industry expert.
Tony Owens, technical director for building services at Cundall, told MEP Middle East that the real estate and technology sectors are "worlds apart".
"The IT [information technology] world is fast and requires little capital compared to real estate; it is also less risky. The real estate sector is very slow and conservative due to funding requirements, planning compliance, design and construction process.
"Technology moves fast and usually developers do not want to invest in technologies that will be outdated by the time a project is completed."
Commenting on the compatibility of the MEP sector and smart cities, Owens said: "Building management systems tend to be installed as standalone systems for HVAC control only. It is rarely connected with the other building systems such as the lifts or the lighting control systems."
He added: "Now there is more opportunity to integrate better self-learning technologies into buildings to enhance the experience for users and the inhabitants of those cities. Giving building occupants the facility to change temperatures in their office space or change lighting levels requires better technology. There is still huge opportunities for the MEP sector to provide smart solutions for buildings, but they will need to be affordable to interest decision makers.”
To read Owens's interview in full, check out issue #1210 of MEP Middle East, which will be released in the first week of October 2017.