The new chair of the Internet of Things Security Foundation (IoTSF) working group for smart buildings, Norman Disney & Young (NDY) cybersecurity advisor Alan Mihalic, says the Internet of Things (IoT) will have a disruptive effect on the architecture, construction and engineering sectors.

“The IoT will be an enabler of services and buildings will become information hubs,” he says.

“Architects will have to understand that everything [in a building] will be connected to the network and as such, they will have to factor that into their designs.”

“Currently”, he says, “the value of the IoT in the built environment is set to reach $USD30 billion globally by 2020.”

“Buildings are working spaces, information portals and community information exchanges that require appropriate security controls to meet their future potential,” he says.

“There will be major changes,” he says, “where everything will be connected to the building.”

“The group is looking to ensure that the recommendations produced are globally applicable and simple to adopt – fitting within existing processes wherever possible,” says Mihalic.

“The goal of the smart buildings working group is to establish a comprehensive set of guidelines to help each of the supply chain participants specify, procure, install, integrate, operate and maintain IoT securely in buildings. This includes intelligent buildings equipment and controls such as audio visual, fire, HVAC, lighting and building security.” 

“The role of the architect will be to introduce some humanity into all this technology,” he says.

“To help achieve this, the working group aims to open the channels of communication between building occupiers, facilities managers, engineers, designers and urban planners in relation to the cyber security challenges affecting building environments.” 

“As for the BIM space, we are probably also looking at more regulation like in the UK, because when you add all this [IoT] technology to a building, those buildings then become critical infrastructure,” says Mihalic.