Worlds Tallest Smartest Building

Tall buildings are great! These massive structures with immense consideration to construction planning and execution really are impressive.  The view looking up at them is staggering, the view looking down from them is nauseating! A perfect place for a business meeting! The pursuit of the title of ‘The World’s Tallest Building’ seems to be increasingly sought after – there are hundreds of building projects and proposed building projects to build the worlds tallest building! However it does seem that the title doesn’t last very long before someone else has taken it by adding a couple of extra floors to their proposed design or a ‘wee stick’ at the top which edges the buildings overall height above the rest.  Is building the ‘world’s tallest building’ title a curse, obsession or addiction? Or is it all three?  In 2013 there will be at least 3 ‘world’s tallest buildings’ depending on the order of completion they may all have the title but in the end ‘there can be only one’.  That one could be China’s with its Tallest Building in the World built in just 90 days project – yes this raises an eyebrow.


As a designer, thinker, dreamer I would like to see more! More smart buildings! More competition to build the most awesome smart buildings, why not? We have smart cars, smart TV’s, smart phones, smart watches and people are smart! Imagine a huge structure, the worlds tallest building that does not have any services like electricity, plumbing, piping or cabling feeding into the building but instead feeding out of the building.  Instead of the gigantic structure taking services it uses it size, location and ‘smartness’ to produce services that efficiently feed the city with energy, water, internet access etc.  This type of technology maybe some way off but if it had the financial backing and competitive nature to gain the title of the ‘Worlds Tallest Smartest Building’ then perhaps we would see more impressive buildings with faster developing technology, services and materials.  I feel that the race to the Worlds Tallest Building has gone stale, we need more than just tall buildings, we need smart buildings!

Think of your body as a machine and your brain the control panel, your brain automatically process millions of task every day that you are not aware of but are essential to the efficient function of the body.  Smart buildings of the future could be processing and adjusting itself to be efficient for the time, day, year and usage. That’s no heating in summer, no air conditioning in winter, no lights on in an empty office and much much more!

 Leonardo da Vinci Vitruvian Man

Responsive environment.

Current smart building technologies include: automated temperature controls, automated lighting systems, security systems, data systems, sensor technology, air quality sensors, energy demand monitoring and management and a handy dandy centralized control dashboard to control all this smartness.  You may have experienced some of this technology in your car (cars have a lot of tech) or in energy saving offices with lights turning on as people enter the room. Companies like Irisys are developing technologies that allow buildings to adapt to its users. People metrics could monitor conference rooms, offices or rest areas, provide data on how many people are using the space, how often they are using it and at what times.  This information can then be used for resource allocation scheduling, to identify wasted or over-used space and to highlight areas for improvement or optimisation in cleaning and maintenance schedules.


One thing is definitely clear, smart buildings will become more responsive and more common in the future but I hope the race to the Worlds Tallest Building will act as a catalyst to bring us truly intelligent buildings sooner rather than later.



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