Connected and Sustainable Buildings
The transformational influences of 21st century information and communications technology (ICT), and the resulting knowledge-based economy, are as significant as the two major waves of “network” innovation that characterized 20th century urban design and development. The first happened at the beginning of last century, triggered by the age of steel, electricity, and heavy engineering, resulting in electrical networks. The second took place at midcentury, with the automobile and other forms of transportation spurring suburbanization and sprawl through networks of roads, highways, ports, and airports.
Today, worldwide digital communications and the Internet are becoming the fourth utility in cities (in addition to roads, water, and electricity). Similar to the beginning of last century, when newly built electrical networks were the focus, today's citizens, governments, and enterprise organizations are taking advantage of digital services delivered over the Internet.
Cities are now looking to apply this “fourth utility” to the development of sustainable buildings that help provide a higher quality of life and a reduced environmental footprint.