'Budgets and buy-in hamper move to smart buildings'


08 July 2021

Building decision-makers say budget constraints and buy-in from senior leadership are the two biggest barriers to the adoption of smart technologies, according to new research by Johnson Controls.  

The report, Thinking Smart: How the foundations of the UK will be defined by smart buildings, found that 99 per cent of decision-makers see the value of smart tech – yet just 34 per cent of buildings are currently fitted with smart solutions. In the short-term, this could be putting occupant health and safety at greater risk, while long-term, sustainability targets will be impacted. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, smart technologies helped 87 per cent of respondents keep their buildings safe – and over a third (37 per cent) say it was critical or essential to doing so. Despite these evident benefits, budget constraints caused issues for two-thirds (64 per cent) of decision-makers, while 42 per cent struggled to get senior buy-in.  

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“Smart buildings haven’t only helped businesses get through the pandemic – they’re also essential to achieving ambitious sustainability targets like Carbon Net Zero,” said Andy Ellis, VP and general manager, Johnson Controls UK&I. “Smart solutions that integrate with your fire, security, controls, HVAC, and occupancy systems can look across a whole building to see in real-time where efficiencies can be made. Without technologies like these to do the hard work for building staff, achieving new levels of sustainability targets and creating healthy workspaces – that support both the environment and employees – will be hard.” 

“It appears that building decision-makers understand the challenge, so now it’s on organisations like ours to speak out, educate the market and embrace the challenges we face around sustainability. We can do this by using smart technologies, so taking this message to the C-Suite and senior leaders – with tangible evidence on the benefits they will bring – will be critical. Then, we can gain their buy-in to ensure our buildings and businesses can be future-ready.” 

Johnson Controls