A meta-integrative qualitative study on the hidden threats of smart buildings/cities and their associated impacts on humans and the environment

Reshna Raveendran, Kheira Anissa Tabet Aoul

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Smart buildings deploying 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) are viewed as the next sustainable solution that can be seamlessly integrated in all sectors of the built environment. The benefits are well advertised and range from inducing wellness and monitoring health, amplifying productivity, to energy savings. Comparatively, potential negative risks are less known and mostly relate to cyber-security threats and radiation effects. This meta-integrative qualitative synthesis research sought to determine the possible underlying demerits from developing smart buildings, and whether they outweigh the possible benefits. The study identified five master themes as threats of smart buildings: a surfeit of data centers, the proliferation of undersea cables, the consternation of cyber-security threats, electromagnetic pollution, and E-waste accumulation. Further, the paper discusses the rebound impacts on humans and the environment as smart buildings’ actualization becomes a reality. The study reveals that, although some aspects of smart buildings do have their tangible benefits, the potential repercussions from these not-so-discussed threats could undermine the former when all perspectives and interactions are analyzed collectively rather than in isolation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number251
JournalBuildings
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • 5G
  • Climate change
  • Cyber security
  • Datacenters
  • E-waste
  • Electromagnetic radiation
  • Humans
  • Internet of things
  • IoTs
  • Smart buildings
  • Sustainability
  • Undersea internet cables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction

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