A MAJOR study on intelligent buildings in Southeast Asia will help influence people's high-tech working environments well into the next century. Intelligent buildings normally boast three essential features: environmental control; an advanced communications network; and good information flow. A building that is ''intelligent'' should, for example, have an electrical system that is readily adaptable to any communications device, ranging from a basic intercom to the most advanced telephone and video conferencing. A British consortium made up of consultancy firms Ove Arup and Partners and Northcroft - which both have offices in Asia - and the international design and consultancy company DEGW, aims to begin the study in March next year. Ove Arup and Northcroft have both been involved in numerous projects in Asia, including work on the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank headquarters in Central. The ''Intelligent Building Asia'' survey will provide central and local governments, building developers, occupiers and the suppliers of intelligent building technologies throughout the region with information on how intelligent buildings should develop in the region in the next 10 years and beyond. About 15 people will visit Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and other Asian centres to carry out three months of field work research on intelligent buildings, and study the specific regional requirements of buildings. The findings of the study will be completed and published about 12 months later and be followed by a series of conferences throughout the region, based on the research findings. ''It takes about one year to complete the study because it is important to do the right level of precise and accurate research,'' said Ms Despina Katsikakis, a director of DEGW who will be in Asia as part of the research team. ''It is easy to come up with quick conclusions on market conditions and users' requirements, but these may not be representative unless there is adequate time for all the right research.'' She said the rapidly growing demand for high quality office and manufacturing space in the region had led to a growing awareness of ''intelligent building'' concepts. This interest has been reflected in the increasing number of conferences and articles devoted to the subject.