Takeaways from RealComm/iBcomm 21 from TCG’s Smart Building Team

Scottsdale, AZ – November 2021. Three of TCG’s smart building leaders – Charlie Buscarino, Steve Cernik, and Chris Durben – recently attended the Realcomm/iBcon 2021 conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, where they had the opportunity to glimpse at the future of the Smart Building industry. While at the conference, they noticed a variety of trends and interesting developments that heralded the major changes in Smart Buildings and encouraged the philosophy of smart buildings they espouse. A few of the key takeaways included: 


One major aspect TCG found to be beneficial was being able to reconvene with major figures in the smart buildings industry, and to add more information into their repertoire. TCG noted that those present at Realcomm were an incredibly influential group of leaders at the top of the industry. It was an excellent tool in allowing all sorts of distinct groups (property owners and managers, consultants, vendors, etc.) to communicate with each other and share ideas on what can be done for the future of smart buildings. “By interacting with these industry groups, it allowed me to see who is at the vanguard of the industryOur team needs to have conversations with them, compare ideas and make sure we’re all using the latest and greatest in terms of concepts and ideas and that we’re all on the forefront. Says TCG Project Manager and Smart Building Subject Matter Expert Chris DurbenIt keeps us very top-of-mind.” 
A discussion we found to be extremely insightful at RealComm was the emphasis on ESG, or Environmental, Social and Governance factors for a real estate asset. One major factor that especially timely was how organizations are developing new ways to collect data regarding the environment. “It was certainly engaging to understand the complexities of the situation,” says Steve Cernik, Project Manager at TCG. “Especially from a commercial real estate perspective-slash-developer, is that they are required to adhere to and report on strict ESG metrics, but their tenants are not.” Cernik found it interesting that the relationship between real estate asset owner and tenant was a major factor that needed to be leveraged to maintain accurate information on how the asset is being environmentally sustainable.  
However, Mr. Cernik noted that the rules and regulations regarding the Social and Governance factors of ERG are few and far between. This is mostly due to information regarding these factors are most often private unless the asset owner is required to share them with the public. When it comes to fitting ESG into Smart buildings, he observed that, “It certainly fits within our strategy [and] the way we approach our projects. It certainly helps define our requirements and especially work with the developers and tenants to adhere to the requirements. It certainly fits well within our model and our approach to help both the developer and the tenant understand how the data is being used, where it’s being used. Then what are the incentives-slash-API’s on the back end that everyone can monitor and adhere to.” 
One aspect that our people noted was underrepresented was the endgame of the user experience when designing a smart building. It was very focused on the building optimization aspect and then the real-estate management aspect.” says Steve Cernik, I think what was surprising was there was not a lot of showcases surrounding the occupant experience‘We build buildings for people,’ is what a lot of people said at Realcomm, and yet, we did not see a lot of vendors showcasing and elaborating how they enable it. It’s still more about the building and the real-estate asset than it is about the occupant.  CEO Charlie Buscarino says “If you and I are going into a building and I say, ‘Hey by the way, that’s a smart building,’ what tends to go through someone’s mind is, ‘What does that mean for me?’ I know I’m going to be comfortable, and I know it’s going to be energy efficient and so on, but can I find my seat faster? Can I find the conference room? Can I find a friend of mine? Can I order food? …How does it make me do my task more efficiently? That’s what’s not talked about there and that’s what makes us unique because we’re the only ones that are really talking about that and bringing that user experience to the discussion. And a smart building should do both.”  
Additionally, Buscarino noticed that the smart buildings industry attendees included many different companieseach with different areas of expertise However, only a few companies prioritized delivering a holistic smart building experience – one of them being The Clarient Group. He observed that “The Clarient Group is on the right track staying at the forefront of the smart buildings industry. Realcomm reinforced to him that TCG is positioned to be a force unlike any other within the smart building industry and will continue to lead into the future“Unlike previous years, people knew who we are and what we stand for.” 

About The Clarient Group: The Clarient Group is a smart building technology consulting and design firm providing services including visioning and master planning, technology systems integration to the planning, design, and project management of major building technology systems.  The firm’s focus is on developing technology solutions that improve building operations, reduce capital costs, generate revenue and enhance user experiences.  The firm’s notable projects include the American Dream retail and entertainment development, Marriott Headquarters, Asurion Headquarters, TSX Broadway development, and Central Park Tower – the world’s tallest residential building.  For more information, visit www.theclarientgroup.com.