Following the announcement from Elon Musk, we have seen energy and sustainability commentators proclaiming the new Tesla PowerWall a game changer for energy management, and for good reasons, moving from centralised energy to local energy management.
Tesla estimate that with only 9 million Powerwall devices, carbon targets to address climate change can be achieved and that’s not such a big number given the number of cars in the world. What happens when every home, office, building has a Powerwall (or similar: there will be others) enabling local energy management, connected to the internet of course.
The Information Age Is Over. Welcome to the Infrastructure Age.
The Powerwall has also be heralded as an example of the emerging ’world view’ age, we are leaving the Age of Information to enter an Age of Infrastructure. An age that will focus on the way not only energy but how information is managed, transported and communicated, constantly and in real time – the Infrastructure of Information.
Imagine future Building Information Management models that up date instantly and constantly based on incoming data feeds from building’s internet of things , from weather, from other BIM’s building user data and so on
The age of Infrastructure, in which the internet of things is a key element will mash up physical and cyber spaces. Will BIM’s also start to blur the boundary between physical and web space, making Augmented Reality the tip of an iceberg. Building Infrastructure Management anyone?
But of course there is the security aspect:
There are the inevitable dangers that come with infusing physical space with all the vulnerabilities of cyberspace. People will hack your building; they’ll inject malicious code into delivery drones; stealing your phone might become the same thing as stealing your car.
Whilst this could well give us near perfect buildings and facilities, it could also take us one step closer to the Blade Runner vision of cities and buildings that is the antithesis of the environment, restorative sustainability thinking movement, and a danger “We’ll still be mining unsustainably to support our glorious batteries and photovoltaics and smart dance clubs”
It is shaping up to be an incredible fast paced journey ahead for the built environment and even more reason for sustainability watchdogs, and for educational focus.