Beware of “gadgets, bells and whistles”, warns ISG’s smart buildings expert

13 December 2017

Paul Cook, Technology Solutions, ISG

Developers and end-users need to design smart buildings in line with their specific needs, and not just include the latest “gadgets, bells and whistles”, according to ISG’s head of technology, Paul Cook.

Paul, who is part of ISG’s in-house technology business, Technology Solutions, made the comments in an article for the Chartered Institute of Building's BIM+ website.

“The dominant perception in construction is you need to have the latest, most expensive technology and the more gadgets you add into a building, the smarter it will become,” he said.

“But that’s a real misconception which is damaging the reputation of technology and resulting in buildings that don’t function as well as they should.

“The most fundamental opportunity right now is to apply the right parts of any system in the right context, in response to the specific needs of the client, which doesn't necessarily mean including the latest gadgets, bells and whistles.”

Paul referenced the steps ISG has taken to promote an integrated approach to technology at the design stage, and the organisation’s focus on engaging clients early on in order to gain a full understanding of the technological requirements of the project.

“In the very early stages of design we aim to extract from the client precisely what they want a building to do, and the aspirations they want to meet, whether that means human-centric design and the end-user experience, optimising energy use, or how they want to market the building,” Paul said.

“We set up a design consortium to get everyone round a table to work through the requirements, which is how buildings should be designed instead of separating it out for the mechanical and electrical consultant to work in silos.”

Follow the link to read the full article, Interview: ISG Technology Head Paul Cook, Smart Design Starts with Integration, which can be found at Please note the article may only be available for registered users.