January 26, 2018

Does an empathic building have to be intelligent?

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Tomi Teikko

Director, Empathic Building, Tieto

An intelligent building

The distinctive features of an intelligent building are building automation and control systems that automatically adapt to actual use of the property. Careful adjustment to default settings in accordance with the calendar and times of the day does not make a building intelligent. In an intelligent building, empty spaces and rooms are not heated or cooled. Smarter buildings even calculate the number of users by automatically adjusting temperature or air conditioning. An intelligent building is not necessarily an empathic one, but it is likely to be an energy-efficient one.

An empathic building

An empathic building listens and gives advice to its end users. An empathic building is like a parent that takes care of its cubs. In an empathic building, end users are given important, location and situation-linked information, and everyone can use this information to decide on how to use the space. On the wall of an empathic building is displayed information about the number of simultaneous users for whom the room's air conditioning can keep the air fresh. In an empathic building, end users can share their thoughts and find other users based on common interests. Users of an empathic building will not get lost or need to search for things, it will improve their well-being, happiness and performance.

The future of buildings is empathic

All new buildings should be empathic. This means bringing the end user to the centre of the design process. There is no point in designing and building buildings if the end users’ needs are not considered. The world is full of successful buildings in which the architect has thought about the end users’ paths first. Bringing empathy into a new or existing property is easier and more cost efficient than making the building intelligent. The building does not have to be intelligent to be empathic, but empathic intelligence will lift the building’s user experience to a whole new level. Users love empathic buildings, and because of their rarity, they queue up to use them.

Read more about Tieto Empathic Building.

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