Buildings

Putting the human touch into buildings

Share this post:

The Internet of Things is going to transform how we work and live in more ways than many of us can imagine. Rapid advances in technology such as cognitive analytics, pervasive connectivity and embedded sensors are transforming every part of business. This transformation is leading to improved operations and lower costs, and engaging and personalized – more ‘human’ experiences.

Buildings aware of occupants’ needs

We are quickly approaching the day when we will walk into a building and it will become instantly, digitally aware of the environment it needs to create to make we humans more successful. Buildings and facilities are places we all work, collaborate, build—the IoT is helping buildings to become more than containers, rather places that help occupants increase their productivity.

Cognitive buildings may seem futuristic, but there are already leaders that are driving these environmentally aware buildings. Others are using asset tracking and facilities management solutions to transform how they manage buildings. We have had the good fortune to collaborate with several of them to help build and implement cutting-edge solutions that are using the IoT as a catalyst for transformation.

Personal, intuitive, user-friendly buildings

Cognitive buildings are becoming a reality as ISS, a global leader in facilities management is tapping data from sensors and devices to transform the work environment. ISS will leverage the IBM Watson IoT Platform to transform the management of over 25,000 buildings around the world.

Headquarted in Copenhagen, ISS is the world’s fourth largest private employer with over half a million staff managing everything from concierge to security, catering to sanitation for thousands of high profile clients. ISS will utilize IBM’s Watson IoT platform, consulting and advanced facilities management technologies to transform the services it provides to its building owners around the world with the goal of making buildings more personalized, intuitive and user-friendly.

The IoT platform will allow data from millions of devices and sensors embedded into buildings including doors, windows, chairs, meeting rooms, dispensers and air conditioning systems to be captured, analyzed and acted upon. Watson IoT cloud and Watson cognitive computing technologies will learn from this data spotting trends, correlations and predicting issues.

Human touch increases productivity

“In today’s highly competitive real estate market, managing buildings should no longer just be about cost,” said Jeff Gravenhorst, CEO of ISS. “With a dashboard overview of key building metrics displayed on mobile devices, real estate managers will benefit from an integrated, real-time view of the services and supplies within their buildings enabling them to adopt a more pro-active, flexible and responsive approach to building management and customised service delivery. Putting real time data into the hands of service staff will help to foster more attentive and service-minded employees, supporting our customers in achieving their priorities. Putting a ‘human touch’ in buildings helps to increase employee productivity, decrease absenteeism and makes a better impression on visitors.”

Check out this video for a look into how ISS is using cognitive buildings technology to transform the workplace.

We are connecting the unconnected and making buildings come alive with more user-friendly functionality and services. Every building has its own function and personality and the Internet of Things and cognitive computing enable us to understand and control in powerful new ways that will transform the way we manage and experience buildings around the world.

Find out how you can transform the workplace with cognitive buildings, or read Harriet Green, General Manager, Watson IoT, Commerce and Education’s opinion in her ‘How Watson is Making Buildings Better‘ post. Alternatively, leave a comment and start a conversation about how smart buildings are, or will evolve your working experience.

Learn more

Find out how other organizations are transforming the workplace with cognitive buildings.

To further understand how Watson IoT can help you understand and improve your space utilization, check out this on-demand webinar, Using IoT to Understand Space Utilization. You’ll get an in-depth view into how Watson IoT data from your buildings, lighting, employees, and even restrooms comes together with external data to provide actionable insights to help improve utilization, cut costs, and increase employee productivity.

More Buildings stories

Does your real estate group have the tech budget you need? This report can help.

Written by Kendra DeKeyrel | August 1, 2019 | Blog, Buildings

Verdantix, an independent research firm with expertise in smart buildings, recently took an in-depth look at the state of real estate technology. Based on interviews with 50 large organizations located in Europe and North America, the research also included interviews with a panel of experts and industry veterans across real estate investment, asset management, facilities services and technology. ...read more


Meet Sarah, the new AI assistant for your buildings and facilities

Written by Andy Barnes | July 25, 2019 | Buildings

Meet Sarah. She’s the new building virtual assistant and digital concierge from IBM Watson IoT and Quantum Capture. Sarah knows about your building, its occupants and facilities. She is always there to help your visitors, temporary and regular employees understand, interact with and navigate their workplace. ...read more


Mahindra & Mahindra: transforming product innovation

Written by Jen Clark | August 3, 2017 | Case Study, Continuous Engineering

Mahindra & Mahindra’s automotive division is transforming product innovation with IBM’s Rational solutions. Together, we are integrating every stage of the development process into a single seamless, traceable system: enhancing collaboration between stakeholders, increasing product quality and reducing time to market. The challenge: competing through innovation As India’s automotive industry undergoes rapid growth, Mahindra & ...read more