Honeywell Experts Share Their Outlooks For The Top Building Trend Of 2024

Top experts at Honeywell have revealed their insights on the trends we can expect to see in 2024. As building automation and technologies continue their rapid advancement throughout the building landscape, so will their ability to help facilities adapt to the pressing challenges facing organizations today.

This year, our experts expect to see buildings become greater producers of energy and increasingly dynamic with how they interact with power grids; we see more aggressive measures come into play, creating a shift in the way cybersecurity is regulated across the built environment and the way facilities are managed takes new shape as the shortage of skilled workers continues to impact buildings. Here’s a breakdown of each trend:

From consumer to a source of power: A change in dynamics
Buildings alone are responsible for consuming 30% of the world’s energy [i]and as governments around the world continue to push for energy efficiency as a means to reduce global carbon emissions, we will see buildings transform from energy-intensive structures to becoming a source of power.

Our experts expect to see a growing number of grid-interactive buildings (GEBs) in 2024 as the demand for power soars and climate change continues to strain electric grids.

A shift toward GEBs will enable facilities to work more dynamically with utilities, helping create greater resilience and the ability to produce and sell energy back to the grids. Buildings will become increasingly responsive and have the ability to flex energy loads based on the cost or carbon load of electricity, enabling buildings to reduce carbon emissions, which will become especially useful in helping companies meet ESG commitments, and help shape the future of distributed energy sources.

Cybersecurity will see increasing authority and oversight
In the past, discussions around cybersecurity have normally centered around Information Technology (IT). However, as the digitalization of buildings continues to move rapidly, safeguarding operational technologies (OT) will become increasingly critical in 2024.

Because connectivity is at the core of OT, the number of vulnerabilities and the ability to exploit and disrupt processes within an organization and critical infrastructure has also seen a rise in recent years. In 2021, the number of publicly reported OT-related cybersecurity attacks grew 140% over the previous year.[ii] One of the problems is that IT and OT have often operated separately. As we tread into the new year, though, our experts expect to see greater accountability measures take place across the building environment with a single owner and a more holistic approach to cybersecurity to help decrease the number of incidents being seen.

The combination of greater accountability paired with regulatory oversights, such as the SEC Mandatory Reporting in the United States to the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act in Australia, and the goal of meeting the cyber resilience for critical national infrastructure across the UK will lead to greater accountability across the industry and enable safer digitalized buildings.

The demand for skilled workers will lead the industry to reshape the way buildings are managed
As the shortage of skilled workers continues to loom over the building industry, our top experts say we will see a shift in the way our buildings are managed and maintained. Since the pandemic, we’ve seen an imbalance in the number of employees leaving the market to retire and those entering in to fill new roles. From 2020 to 2022, the number of applicants looking to fill technical roles dropped by nearly 50%, which has had a tremendous impact on facilities around world.

Fortunately, the rate at which buildings are adopting new technology is also advancing quickly. As we see buildings become increasingly automated and digitalized, the ability to leverage data from machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence  (AI)will not only help buildings reduce downtime but also the ability to self-diagnose problems, empowering facility managers to troubleshoot and manage their spaces independently, reducing the reliance on traditional skilled labor roles.

Sustainability remains paramount to facilities 
Lastly, it's notable to mention that sustainability also continues to be a top trend and priority for buildings and organizations around the world. Collectively, buildings have fallen short of meeting energy and carbon emission targets, and we are expecting to see a 1% increase in energy consumption by this sector in 2023, according to the Global Alliance for Building Construction.[iv] Advanced energy management systems paired with an increase in government incentives and investments in sustainability will help empower building owners to take control and move their facilities in the right direction.

Using innovative technologies and automation, Honeywell can help you meet your building’s most challenging needs as we move into the new year. Learn how by contacting one of our experts today.