Smart buildings: what are they and how do they work?
The low-down on smart buildings.
Nowadays everything is being made smart, from phones to watches to cars, so it makes sense that buildings should follow suit. We really believe that in the near future, all buildings will become smart, and that this is the future of the property development sector. This article looks at what smart buildings are, and how they work.
WHAT IS A SMART BUILDING?
In short, smart buildings are ones that use technologies to analyse building use, and ultimately run more efficiently. Data is gathered on various elements of a building’s running – things such as light usage or air quality – and where areas could be improved, the building works to optimize the systems.
SMART BUILDING SYSTEMS
Smart building systems can be integrated into all building management systems, and they allow complete control over a building’s running. As well as monitoring the daily activities of a building, building management systems are incredibly useful for predicting any maintenance that may be required. Because the building is constantly monitoring the systems that operate it, it can anticipate when a piece of equipment may need to be repaired or replaced relatively easily.
There has also been some development on the possibility of smart building systems having the capability to harvest data about occupants’ body temperatures and heart rates from wearable fitness trackers and other similar devices. The goal of this is to allow the building systems to automatically adjust according to the mean datasets, to create an environment that is best-suited to those in the building.
By monitoring building energy usage and optimizing systems according to the data collected, smart buildings can help to save energy. This is better for the occupants paying the energy bills, but – crucially – is also important for the planet. With climate change running rampant around us, it’s vital that we all try to make our lives that little bit more environmentally-friendly wherever we can, and smart buildings are a great option available to us.
Smart buildings can optimize energy usage by automatically switching off lights, taps, heating and air conditioning systems, and more when they’re not in use – in other words, smart buildings are efficient buildings. As well, a smart building allows occupants to work with power grids and sell back any excess energy, so that waste is minimized as much as possible.
SIMPLICITY IS KEY
A key feature of all smart building technology is simplicity. The tech should work seamlessly in the background, almost making you forget that the systems are in place; in other words, it should be passive and self-managed. You should only have to manually work the technology if an issue arises, or for monitoring purposes.
As well, the tech should be accessible for everyone. Take, for example, the building management systems in all CEFINCO buildings. The system displays are easy to use and look the same on all mobile devices, allowing them to be operated by anyone without issue.
Ultimately, smart buildings have the ability to make our lives easier. With automated optimization of internal building environments, not only will building occupants be more comfortable, but the planet will see some relief from inefficient building usage. Smart buildings might not be the base standard in property development just yet, but we’re sure that the next few years are going to be an exciting time for both the technology and the sector.
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