Airports and hotels in India have the smartest buildings with Smart Building...

Airports and hotels in India have the smartest buildings with Smart Building Scores of 49 and 41, resp.

Priyanshu Singh, Country Manager, Honeywell Building Solutions
Priyanshu Singh, Country Manager, Honeywell Building Solutions

Honeywell, a global leader in building automation solutions, has recently disclosed the results of their first ever Smart Building Score survey conducted to analyse overall smartness of buildings which fall in 9 different verticals. While airports and hotels performed way far ahead of the national Smart Building average, the survey revealed glaring gap in green, safety and productivity aspects in Indian buildings. In a one-on-one interaction, Priyanshu Singh, Country Manager, Honeywell Building Solutions (HBS) shares with P Krishna Kumar the objective, response and future plans to replicate it in other markets

What was Honeywell’s interest in developing the Smart Building Score and undertaking a national Smart Building Survey?
When we learnt about government’s plans to develop 100 smart cities, as a responsible corporate entity in the building automation space, we thought of supporting that vision in our own way. Our strength is in building automation technology, and also since 85 to 90% of human life is spent inside a built up space, we arrived at this unique concept. While government, as part of developing these cities, will be handling big chunk of the critical infrastructure like public utilities, transport, etc., buildings which form part of the whole infrastructure could be ignored.

So far we have been focusing on Green aspects of the building. Through this smart score, we tried to take a massive step forward by adding newer elements, which were not looked at so far, like safety and productivity. The survey had 3 broad pillars of Green, Safe and Productive. These 3 broad aspects were further divided into 15 elements, each of which got graded or self-assessed by owners or facility managers on a scale of 1 to 5. All these scores were blended into a final score to derive the smart building score.

This initiative is not governed by any monetary gains, but to spread awareness and to show where we stand as a nation in smart building parameters.

What was your experience like in terms of participation in the survey? How do you plan to take it forward?
The survey and the awards were the culmination of multiple efforts that lasted over a year. We are quite encouraged by the amount of excitement that the initiative generated. We held road shows in 8 cities across India to build awareness about it and hence the survey has become a significant movement. About 2,000 buildings participated in the survey covered 9 key building verticals that included airports, hotels, hospitals, private offices, retail, surface transport, government offices, educational institutions, etc.

This is the first time such a survey has happened anywhere in the world. We have developed it from scratch and the elements being covered are comprehensive. We understand that it is massively scalable, adaptable and flexible to use in any geography. We are now thinking of rolling it out in markets like Middle East, China and the US.

What are the key findings of your Smart Building Score survey? Where does India stand in terms of incorporating smart concepts?
On a scale of 1 to 100, the national average Honeywell Smart Building Score for these buildings is only 33. As we conceived and launched this programme in India first, it is difficult to make comparative analysis with any other market. In terms of Green concepts, the average is pretty good at 45. In terms of safety, the national average is 21 and productivity, it is 31. Airports and hotels in India have the smartest buildings overall with an average Smart Building Scores of 49 and 41, respectively. Scoring the lowest were buildings in the education (27) and residential (26) categories. The lowest rated aspect of buildings in the survey was the safety and personal protection of workers who service and maintain these buildings, at 8. This shows that environment safety march over human safety. It is important that building owners address this imbalance.

What is Honeywell’s core expertise in this segment?
Honeywell is a global technology leader with interests in diversified fields like oil and gas, aircraft, buildings, special chemicals, etc. In all these industry verticals, the only common factor is high end technology. In the automation portfolio, we have multiple business units, which includes fire & safety, access control, surveillance camera, sensors, environmental control systems, etc. Today, Honeywell touches 150m homes and 10 million commercial buildings. The core elements that constitute a smart building are HVAC, access control and surveillance systems, fire systems, etc. We are into all these, although we do not manufacture HVAC systems on our own. However, what we offer as an overarching element across all these is our Enterprise Building Integrator – a sophisticated system which integrates all the core elements into one single operating system.