Expert Criticises Cost-Cutting for Keeping UK Properties ‘in the Dark Ages’

Last Updated on: 24th May 2024, 05:42 am

A prominent figure in the global smart building industry is set to travel to the UK and inform delegates at a Midlands conference that cost-cutting and tradition are preventing the country’s commercial properties from progressing beyond the “Dark Ages”.

Tim Miscovich, the outspoken Chief Commercial Officer of tech innovator wtec, will use his presentation at the upcoming Workplace Technology Conference in Derby on June 6 to discuss where he believes the UK is lagging.

Tim’s company produces smartengine, a network-powered lighting and sensor technology that delivers energy savings and provides sensor data on electricity usage, air quality, temperature, and room occupancy levels to the building’s management system, allowing operators to gain a complete overview of their space.

The company has deployed its technology in buildings managed by some of the world’s most renowned companies, including Google, Meta, Apple, PWC, and Gymshark.

Furthermore, wtec’s smart building technology has been installed in prestigious projects in New York City, such as the 61st floor of SL Green’s iconic ONE Vanderbilt building and Remy-Cointreau’s new NY headquarters at Rudin Management’s 3 Times Square.

Smart building technology has been widely embraced and understood in the USA, which has recognised its benefits, including sustainability, cost savings, and enhanced comfort for building occupants.

In contrast, Tim asserts that the UK’s adoption of the technology has been disappointingly slow, attributing this to cultural attitudes towards building methods, risk-taking, and expenditure.

He said: “Compared to the United States, I would say that when it comes to smart building technology the UK, and in many respects wider Europe, is, sadly, stuck in the Dark Ages.

“Linking the horizontal and vertical technologies of a building is now becoming a standard practice in the US and other parts of the world and we are increasingly working with smaller, less well-known firms that are investing in these technologies so they can have the most intelligent, sustainable and user-friendly space.

“Saving energy is at the heart of this. Some people think that because we drive around in big trucks in the States we’re free and easy when it comes to energy use in our buildings, but they couldn’t be more wrong, because reducing energy waste is good business and we’re all about doing things that make sense.

“The UK has made some strides, but it hasn’t got there yet with technology that has been readily available, for the last 10 years. I would equate it to the conversion from analogue to VoIP phones.”

Tim will also spotlight a success story in the UK’s property landscape – Treetops Hospice in Risley, situated just eight miles from the conference venue.

The hospice features one of the UK healthcare sector’s most advanced buildings, a therapy centre for children who have experienced bereavement, constructed as part of the BBC Children In Need’s DIY: SOS project last year.

Among the hundreds of plasterers, carpenters, and landscape gardeners who volunteered their time for the project was a team from Derby firm Scenariio, which installed wtec’s smartengine technology. This integrates with the BMS to provide real-time data on energy optimisation, human-centric lighting, and indoor air quality.

Tim said: “It’s a perfect example of how everything works together to make the building more energy efficient and comfortable for the people who use it and I’m looking forward to a visit when I’m in Derby.”

The one-day Workplace Conference will be held at Derby’s Chocolate Factory venue, located downstairs from Scenariio’s offices on Siddals Road.

The event will offer a blend of exhibits and trade stands, as well as discussions from Tim and other industry experts on how AI can create intelligent buildings that provide occupants with a more personalised and individual user experience.

George Pritchard, Technical Director of Scenariio, said: “Tim is right at the cutting-edge of the smart building industry and we’re really looking forward to what he has to say.

“Although he pulls no punches, his comments on how the UK is falling behind when it comes to smart building technology will certainly get people thinking and, we hope, will help to shake up the industry.”

Registration for the event is free, but attendees will be invited to make a donation to Treetops Hospice. For more information and to book your place, visit

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