This month, ES is focusing on commercial buildings, so I began to think about all those smart buildings. Not that many years ago, "smart buildings" was a popular term. Before that, we had energy-efficient buildings. Now we have green buildings and buildings with renewable materials, and we always have award-winning buildings.
As a proponent for quality control and the continuous quality process, I think we should have a reality check on all these building marketing terms. The best buildings are the ones where you can measure performance. How do you measure green or renewable? How do you measure smart? I know you can measure energy efficiency, but few ever go back and measure what was an energy-efficient design vs. actual energy consumption.