Do You Know Your Smart Building Score?

by Glenn Hicks on January 15, 2019

Building intelligence offers many competitive advantages, from improving space management and energy efficiency to enhancing the employee experience.

Many workplaces today have some “smart” elements, while others are designed to be intelligent buildings from the ground up. The Honeywell Smart Building Score is the best framework for understanding how your workplace compares to others and where you can improve.

Here’s what you need to know about the Smart Building Score and how to apply it to your workplace.

What is the Honeywell Smart Building Score?

The Honeywell Smart Building Score (HSBS) is a 45-minute online survey designed to quickly and comprehensively evaluate how organizations use technology to make their facilities green, safe and productive.

Here’s a closer look at how the Smart Building Score evaluates each of the three elements of intelligent buildings:

1. Green

“Green” refers to how technology supports the environmentally sustainable components of your buildings via energy efficiency, use of clean energy and reuse of resources.

Honeywell measures building efficiency by looking at the following elements:

2. Safe

“Safe” refers to how technology maintains the safety and security of your building’s occupants, assets and owners through threat response and detection as well as control of facility access.

According to the Smart Building Score, important elements of a safe building are:

  • Disaster response
  • Fire detection and notification
  • Gas and water leakage detection and notification
  • People and vehicle screening and access control
  • Surveillance and intrusion monitoring
  • Worker safety and personal protection

3. Productive

“Productive” refers to how your building enhances the comfort and productivity of its occupants in terms of lighting, temperature, air quality and connectivity.

The Smart Building Score looks at the following to determine a building’s productivity:

  • Indoor environment comfort, quality and control
  • People, vehicle and cargo movement management
  • Uninterrupted power supply
  • Wired communication and data infrastructure
  • Wireless communication and data infrastructure

Using the Smart Building Score involves asking a series of questions about each of the assets. For example, when evaluating wireless connectivity, is Wi-Fi available in the facility? Is it accessible anywhere in the building? How often does it go down?

The Smart Building Score focuses only on measuring the active components of a smart building—its devices and equipment. This is because once the facility is constructed, the passive components—architectural design, building location and building material— are unlikely to undergo substantial changes. As a result, the Smart Building Score can be used to evaluate both new and existing facilities.

Why Does the Smart Building Score Matter?

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, large commercial buildings are the greatest consumers of energy in the country. Even though they account for only 11 percent of all commercial buildings, offices between 25,000 and 200,000 square feet are responsible for 42 percent of total energy consumption. And since energy costs per square foot continue to increase year over year, it’s in every company’s best interest to find ways to increase efficiency.

Additionally, facility managers can take an objective look at the performance of the building systems that have the biggest impact on employee comfort: heating and air conditioning, lighting and ventilation.

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This is crucial since employee productivity directly impacts profitability, and employees who have a comfortable workplace are more productive.

With the Smart Building Score, your organization can also gain critical insight into how secure your facilities are and identify potential vulnerabilities before criminals can take advantage. That includes making sure your data is safe from cyberattacks.

Getting Started with the Smart Building Score

Understanding how your workplace supports a green, productive and safe environment requires three things. The first is Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. IoT sensors enable you to collect data on occupancy, asset performance, energy consumption, air quality, temperature and humidity — all of which are necessary when applying for the Smart Building Score.

But without an integrated workplace management system (IWMS), it’s difficult to make that data actionable. An IWMS gives you one centralized access point for all the data the IoT sensors collect and provides the tools you need to accurately assess your workplace.

These two components will give you a lot of data about your workplace. But as workplace leader Kay Sargent says, people are the best sensors.

To have a truly intelligent workplace, employees need to be able to interact with it.

That’s why the third component essential to a smart building is an employee experience app.

With an employee experience app, you can get real-time feedback about how employees are using your workplace and make adjustments that boost your Smart Building Score, such as:

  • Improving space utilization
  • Helping employees better navigate the workplace
  • Responding to service requests that improve employee comfort and productivity
  • Giving employees a secure way to receive mail and check in visitors

If you want a greener, safer and more productive workplace, start by calculating your Smart Building Score. It’s the only universal way to know exactly where your building stands now and make improvements that ensure it will stand the test of time. 


Glenn Hicks

A member of the Business Development team, Glenn has years of experience with business process improvement on the Commercial Real Estate and Facilities Management sides.

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