Blog: Texas highlights the argument for autonomous buildings
On February 10th, millions of Americans in Texas woke up to frigid temperatures that had not been felt in this area in years. Roads iced over, businesses closed, and millions of Texans used more power than they normally would have to heat their homes. Graytec USA's Luke Jackson was present in the Dallas area at this time, and he experienced the ensuing water infrastructure failures first-hand.
Luckily for Luke, his power never went out as it had for millions of less fortunate Texans in places such as Dallas, Houston, and Austin. Several people that he knows went days without power and were forced to stay with friends or family as State and Federal authorities worked without rest to shore up the non-winterized and substandard grids that had serviced Texas' exploding population for years. But the billions of dollars in damage and dozens of lives lost during this fiasco weren't only linked to malfunctioning power supplies and distribution networks. Indeed, this devolving story has also highlighted the crumbling water infrastructure seen throughout the USA that (according to the Environmental Protection Agency) needs approximately $1 trillion to properly function again. Water mains across Texas froze and burst, some systems completely stopped functioning, and 12 million people, including Luke, were required to boil water for several days.
This is a statewide catastrophe that is ongoing as of the publishing of this blog. This fallout highlights the fact that infrastructure failures can happen anywhere given that the State of Texas often prided itself on being the well-run alternative to other US states such as California and New York.
Buildings that incorporate technologies that make themselves more sustaining should and will be considered more as infrastructure failures continue to mount in the developed world and elsewhere. Graytec Global is proud to be part of that trend, and our team hopes that deadly and dramatic examples such as Texas' recent ice storm don't repeat themselves often, if at all, before the concept of more decentralized infrastructures and autonomous buildings are accepted.