Smart technology is improving and growing around the world – from smart phones integrating into daily life, to smart cities, linking communications and information about the use and life cycles of the world. Find out what has been going on in the world of smart tech and how this could help your building design to be stronger, faster, and smarter.
WHAT IS A SMART BUILDING?
A smart building is a connected or automated building which uses sensors to receive, monitor and act on building data.
The term is used for all sorts of automations within buildings – this can be as simple as automated controls for temperature, to a full feedback system reporting on every element of the building and usage.
Smart buildings are driven by connectivity, using the IoT (internet of things) to connect systems, processes and feedback.
MAIN FEATURES OF SMART BUILDINGS
Multiple Systems: smart buildings will have several, if not many, systems which connect (such as fire alarms, ventilation and heating).
Connectivity: Systems in a smart building link together to analyse building data
Monitoring & Response: connected systems analyse and control the building output in relation to the changing environment – in real time.
IoT: the internet of things allows these systems to talk and analyse the data
BENEFITS OF SMART BUILDINGS
By improving the environment of the building, staff will be inherently more productive. The atmosphere, temperature and cleanliness will have more of an impact on staff productivity than many people think!
Being able to see and review building information and data allows building owners to have a better understanding of their operations. By understanding the requirements and usage of the building, it is possible to create more streamlined processes.
By setting systems to operate at certain levels in real time, energy use can be reduced. For example, thermal systems can be switched off when optimum temperatures are reached, rather than staying on longer than required – thus saving energy and reducing costs.
Reducing wasted energy, gaining more productivity from staff and improving understanding of operations all lead to reduced costs. Lowering maintenance requirements is a key way smart buildings reduce costs, automating the processes. Long term, buildings are future resistant, adaptive and have an increased life span.
WHAT THINGS CAN I INTEGRATE?
Common building automations include:
- adaptive or dual energy systems
- heating, ventilation and cooling system automation
- security systems
- alarm systems
- water systems (heating/cooling)
- air quality
- lifts and escalators
- electricity prioritisation
- waste management