Building a Smarter Atlanta: How Acuity Brands is Weaving Technology Into Building Spaces

August 8, 2018 Monica Weglicki

Acuity Brands Senior Vice President of Technology Steve Lydecker said Wednesday evening that “people who reside in cities spend an average of 90% of their time indoors whether at work or home.1

That’s one reason why Acuity Brands has turned their focus to connecting building spaces, weaving technology into the existing architecture and built environment. The other reason is that connected building spaces integrate into a smart city, and fulfill the technology needs driven by ongoing technological advancements that citizens expect today.

Lydecker served on a panel at the "Building a Smarter Atlanta" event on Wednesday, August 8, 2018 where he referenced the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport project. Acuity’s LED lighting retrofits not only deliver a potential of 60% energy savings, but provide a technology layer called a sensory network.

What is a sensory network?

A sensory network is the LED lighting infrastructure enabled with beacon technology that integrates with mobile phones to deliver wayfinding, asset tracking and analytical insights into passenger traffic for indoor and adjacent outdoor spaces. This indoor location technology aims to make the airport more efficient and more enjoyable with the bonus of driving additional revenues for tenants and the airport alike.

By connecting passengers to services that they want, they will be able to spend more time before they take off in the airport. And, rather than hurrying to their gate, they can shop or spend money in Atlanta versus other cities.

What is Acuity Brands' vision?

“Our vision at Acuity Brands is that buildings will become increasingly connected in the future resulting in more productive, more livable spaces if we weave technology into architecture and the built environment,” said Lydecker. “This allows us not to think of our buildings as cost centers, but as strategic assets.”

Much in the way the outdoor experience has been transformed with tools such as GPS where we navigate to locations and the services that are around us, Acuity’s goal is to bring this capability to internal spaces. By integrating that technology into the internal environment, it not only leads to more energy efficiency but it funds the Internet of Things (IoT) technology. The company’s work at the airport is an offshoot of its work in the retail and connected building spaces, where Acuity indoor position solutions are deployed at approximately 200 million square feet.

1. Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency


About Steve Lydecker

Senior Vice President, Technology at Acuity Brands, Inc. 

Steve Lydecker

Steve Lydecker is the Senior Vice President of Technology at Acuity Brands Lighting. With more than 30 years of experience in the lighting industry, Lydecker has held lead roles in lighting controls, optics, luminaire innovations, software development as well as general management of luminaires and controls business units.

His current role involves connecting nascent technologies to customers of scale, allowing the next generation of LED lighting to achieve its full potential. He is an inventor who is named on more than two dozen utility and design patents and other intellectual property for luminaire design, electronics, controls, wiring, digital communication, thermal transfer, LED color changing and renovation techniques. These patents represent a significant portion of Acuity Brands lighting and controls revenue. Lydecker holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Steve’s connection with the city:

Steve has lived in Atlanta metropolitan area (OTP) for over thirty years and has been involved with implementing technology solutions in many of the city’s iconic venues. These include Atlanta’s professional sporting facilities, Coca-Cola corporate headquarters, UPS corporate headquarters, the Georgia Aquarium and the ongoing expansion at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

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