GBCA - "Innovation" Night

"Cross pollination propels innovation"

I found the first of the Green Building Council's "Innovation Series" nights both inspiring and disquieting, which is about as much as you can hope for in an evening's talk.

These talks were hosted by Laing O'Rourke at the Engineering Excellence Group in Chippendale on Thursday 27 March last.

All speakers were given a "tedX-like" 10-15 minutes to cover their subject and each delivered an exciting insight into a range of different technological ideas.

Will Rayward-Smith, of Laing O'Rourke, spoke about the inevitable industry-wide changes that lie ahead with regards 3-D printing in construction. Bruce Duyshart, of Meld strategies, spoke about the future and urban potential of the Building Management System Concept. This was followed by an inspiring talk from Bruce Taper, of Kinesis, on evidence based solutions to environmental problems at an urban scale. Bruce provided a very convincing snapshot of what the future of urban planning could be, and it felt right.

However all these talks were preceded by Evan Harridge, from Immersive, who spoke about the mammoth potential that lies within "Big Data". This was the broadest subject of the night and in ways was the basic principle of the subjects that followed. Evan spoke of projects where collection of huge amounts of data can be used to predict patterns, be it fires in Victoria or what's the quickest route to leave my son into footie training on a Wednesday evening. Whilst there is something very inspiring about listening to passionate people talk about big ideas you it is also a reminder that big ideas carry big responsibility, and that can be terrifying especially when it comes to matters concerning privacy.

Did you know that the technology for locating your mobile phone is so accurate now that it can detect whether your are standing or sitting down?

I spoke with Evan afterwards as I am currently researching ways for clients to maximize the "use it or lose it" nature of New South Wales domestic solar power and was interested in the use of data to inform domestic energy usage. He was quickly able to point me in the direction of some very useful applications which I will be researching further.

For a discussion piece about "Big Data" and the Built Environment, click HERE.

Fergal White

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