Sensor technology has been opening doors for everything from precisely measuring the impacts of climate change on sea levels to enabling driverless cars to alerting homeowners when to restock their refrigerators.

These advances are making their way into the built environment, where AEC firms are installing sensors for a variety of tasks that include (but certainly aren’t confined to) monitoring jobsite workers to spot patterns and make safety improvements, tracking equipment and building materials, and integrating BIM models with sensor data to gauge a building’s performance against expectations.

Sensors are also playing vital roles in creating healthier and more efficient environments across many building types, and evaluating occupant comfort and space usage patterns. Some recent examples:Two years ago, Gensler installed sensors in its New York office to track occupant use. The data from those sensors influenced changes in the design of the spaces and furniture. Gensler is studying group behavior, by tracking movement and flow, to develop better experiences in this space.