The term smart building gets thrown around so much that we have become desensitized to it. The concept seems so simple to us, living in our digitally connected paradigms, but the idea that a building can be smart is actually both old and new. While there is plenty of mention of “intelligent buildings” in the early 1980’s, the first public mention that I can find of the term “smart building” doesn’t come from a developer, an architect, or a research team, it comes from Tony Stark. That’s right, Iron Man.
Way back in 1994, the first edition of the Force Works comic book rolled off the presses. In it, Iron Man describes his lair as a smart building because of its ability to defend itself from the types of problems that tend to befall superhero lairs. As far as I could find, the term “smart building” didn’t start popping up in scholarly publications until 2005 in a research report titled Structural Health Monitoring of Smart Civil Structures Using Fibre Optic Sensors.
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