Data collection and analysis is happening all around us and is improving the way we live and function as a society. It’s used in everything from improving traffic flow to monitoring staff productivity and increasing manufacturing output.
Everything we do produces data. Indeed, in terms of growth, data mining and data analysis are two of the fastest-growing industries of the 21st Century. Companies like Google and Facebook have increased their value exponentially by translating user behavior into comprehensible datasets, capable of predicting user attitudes and actions.
Architecture has also seen massive strides in the use of data analysis to improve environments, people flow, and the way buildings are designed – putting function on equal standing with form. Data harvesting companies like TruQC are becoming increasingly important in understanding how clients use their buildings.
This data is changing how buildings are designed and constructed and is having massive long-term implications on the way the industry will operate in the future. Architects are increasingly coming to rely on data to shape their designs.
Here are three ways big data analysis is transforming the face of architecture forever.
Data analysis is changing buildings into smart buildings
One of the most prevalent trends requested by today’s clients is the integration of technology into architectural designs – to give a greater understanding of how their buildings are being used and to improve productivity levels within them.
Smart devices are all around us these days, and the growth of the Internet of Things (essentially, the use of smart devices communicating with each other over the internet to provide insights) is harvesting data on a massive scale.
Integrating sensors into buildings can give owners a far more precise idea of how people are moving and interacting within that building, allowing them to plan better movement or placement of staff.
Data is changing the way buildings are being designed
In essence, everything in our lives can be broken down into data – from the seemingly random movement of ants to the similar movements of people within buildings. Everything can be monitored and transferred into data to establish patterns and relationships.
As productivity becomes increasingly more critical in our work and social environments – and clients view aesthetics as important as usability – we will see data increasingly influence the design of new buildings.
The environmental impacts of data-led design
Environmental issues are more important today than ever, and businesses have been forced to take a greener approach to everything they do.
Implementing smart sensors and systems into a building’s architecture allows business owners to reduce their energy overhead and mitigate consumption. In its most basic form, this can be as simple as implementing automated heating systems that operate only when temperatures drop low enough or installing escalators that run only on demand.
These simple processes can be extended further by harnessing the power of the Internet of Things (IoT), allowing sensors to communicate data across entire buildings. In essence, the IoT runs on three basic types of sensor:
- Those that gather data
- Those that receive data
- Those that both gather and receive data – then interpret it to make “decisions.”
The smart buildings of the future will monitor power use, providing it only as required. Again, this can start as simple as lights turning themselves out when nobody is in an office but, when taken as part of the IoT, it could transform the power consumption across an entire building – optimizing everything from heating and aircon to lights and vending machines.