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A Meta-Integrative Qualitative Study on the Hidden Threats of Smart Buildings/Cities and Their Associated Impacts on Humans and the Environment

Architectural Engineering Department, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain P.O. Box 15551, United Arab Emirates
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Buildings 2021, 11(6), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060251
Received: 19 April 2021 / Revised: 4 June 2021 / Accepted: 7 June 2021 / Published: 10 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Architectural Design, Urban Science, and Real Estate)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: smart buildings; 5G; internet of things; IoTs; sustainability; climate change; humans; cyber security; electromagnetic radiation; undersea internet cables; datacenters; E-waste smart buildings; 5G; internet of things; IoTs; sustainability; climate change; humans; cyber security; electromagnetic radiation; undersea internet cables; datacenters; E-waste
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MDPI and ACS Style

Raveendran, R.; Tabet Aoul, K.A. A Meta-Integrative Qualitative Study on the Hidden Threats of Smart Buildings/Cities and Their Associated Impacts on Humans and the Environment. Buildings 2021, 11, 251. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060251

AMA Style

Raveendran R, Tabet Aoul KA. A Meta-Integrative Qualitative Study on the Hidden Threats of Smart Buildings/Cities and Their Associated Impacts on Humans and the Environment. Buildings. 2021; 11(6):251. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060251

Chicago/Turabian Style

Raveendran, Reshna, and Kheira A. Tabet Aoul 2021. "A Meta-Integrative Qualitative Study on the Hidden Threats of Smart Buildings/Cities and Their Associated Impacts on Humans and the Environment" Buildings 11, no. 6: 251. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060251

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