Skip to main content
  • Research Study

Top Takeaways for Smart Buildings

Learn from the 2022 UL Solutions Research Study how business executives view the evolution of advanced technology and the built environment.

Upward view of skyscrapers

The residential, commercial and factory environments are rapidly changing as technology facilitates more interconnected systems, advances measurable sustainability, and supports occupant and worker safety, security, and comfort. See what senior executives across industries around the world are doing to anticipate technology trends.

Icon of a building

Commercial buildings

Technology is improving the interconnected systems in buildings, especially as workplaces adapt to changing labor schedules and preferences. Here are the features survey respondents say will become standard over the next five years:

The EU and U.K. - Key features in new construction and adaptive reuse projects should include electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, intelligent operational systems like HVAC and lighting, and building designs that can support a carbon-neutral future.
Asia - In both new construction and adaptive reuse projects, cognitive computing technologies will be used to adapt to occupant preferences, support better security and include building designs that support a carbon-neutral future.
Latin America - Commercial buildings in this region are adding intelligent operations systems designed to conserve resources and last for more than 100 years. They feature cognitive computing tools to respond to occupant preferences.

Icon of a building

Residential structures

Smart technology offers residents more tools to feel secure in their dwellings and live more sustainably. Here are the tech-driven features survey respondents predict will become common in adaptive reuse and new construction projects:

North America – Tech-powered security features that are expected to become common in all types of residential projects may include digital-access locks and security cameras. Additionally, intelligent lighting and HVAC systems will grow in popularity.
The EU and U.K. – Residents in these regions are moving toward more widely embracing green lifestyles with EV charging stations and renewable energy sources. Technology-enabled security devices are also popular.
Asia – In this region, residents want to use technology to have more information and control, including using digital-access locks for security, automated leak detection sensors and intelligent lighting and HVAC systems.
Latin America – Residents in this region are primarily focused on technology that enhances security, such as digital locks, access controls and integrated security cameras. There is also interest in sustainable energy, including solar panels and other renewable energy sources. 

Factory icon


The factory environment stands to reap dramatic benefits from advanced technology. Survey respondents are anticipating a broad range of improvements across all industries. Through improved connectivity, the factories of the near future will feature more responsive systems that foster greater control and reduced energy consumption. 

Take a look at these results from business executives as they predict technology in factories. 

North America – Executives with factories in North America look forward to improved technologies that control personnel access across the floor plan. Private 5G networks are another expected feature.
The EU and U.K. – While respondents in this region plan to employ access control technology, they also plan to employ building designs that help them achieve a carbon-neutral or -negative footprint fueled by renewable energy.
Asia – Executives in this region plan to add private 5G networks to factory spaces as well as pervasive environment sensors that predict, detect and resolve problems before damage occurs.
Latin America – In the next five years, respondents forecast that technology tools will be used to customize manufacturing schedules to real-time needs, taking into account order data, supply chain deliverables, weather and other factors.