The term “smart building” refers to any structure that uses automated processes to automatically control operations within the building; this includes heating, lighting, security, ventilation, air conditioning and other systems. Smart building technology collects data and allows owners, operators and facility managers to control a building’s operations. This helps improve asset reliability and performance, which reduces both energy use and environmental impact, whilst optimising how space is used within the building.
Many buildings remain “unconnected”, and whilst they have provided the essentials, these buildings have remained at the same efficiency level for years. But newer buildings, or older structures that have been converted to smart buildings, are constantly changing. They are living organisms connected to a network with intelligent and adaptable software.
At the most fundamental level, smart building technology improves productivity with optimised lighting, temperature, air quality and more, all whilst reducing energy costs and environmental impact. Smart buildings can take many forms, including smart office buildings, hospitals, educational facilities, stadiums and retail centres.
One of the primary functions of smart building technology is to reduce unnecessary use. The amount of energy saved depends on the system used and the type of building, but energy consumption is often reduced by around 5% – 35% with the use of smart
As well as the obvious financial benefits this creates, it is also a much more efficient and effective approach to meeting green goals.
Smart building technology gives great insights into how a building is being used, by collecting data-protection-safe information through unobtrusive cameras and thermal sensors. Smart systems are able to react to this information, and make adjustments accordingly; for example, adjusting how heating and lighting are used throughout the building.
Sensors can also be used to track space occupancy patterns, identifying overused and underused areas in the building. This provides the opportunity to
Equipment maintenance and repairs can be costly for businesses, however, are necessary as, without proper maintenance, building equipment needs replacing much more frequently.
Smart building technology tackles this issue. Sensors monitor and report on building performance, predicting when equipment requires maintenance, before any issues become too serious – and costly. When you have a more insightful overview of how the building is operating – and used – it’s far easier to implement maintenance at the right time.
Smart buildings have been specifically designed to deliver a more comfortable experience for their occupants. They can raise standards and ensure that health and safety considerations are being met, as well as ensure that this is implemented in a cost efficient way. Smart buildings make people more productive by continually monitoring building use and adjusting systems to ensure that occupants have the facilities that they need.
The data generated by smart building technology provides useful insights
Spanning 52 stories, this office building won awards for its construction and design, as well as its energy and water efficiency.
The Capital Tower uses smart building technology in a number of ways, including an energy recovery wheel system in its air-conditioning unit, which allows cool air to be recovered to maintain the chillers’ efficiency.
Double-glazed glass windows reduce heat penetration and minimise energy consumption, whilst motion detectors installed at the lift lobby and toilets also work to conserve energy. The building uses condensation from the air handling unit to reduce water usage, and air quality is monitored and optimised
The Hindmarsh Shire Council offices
Air is naturally cooled or warmed by the earth, before being redistributed back through the building. Energy is drawn in through rooftop solar panels, whilst inside, LED lighting systems reduce energy consumption and maintenance. Cross-flow ventilation and zoned motion-detecting lighting also
As well as being the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa is also one of the smartest and most sustainable.
Several smart building technology projects have been implemented in its marquee venue, which improved air quality, lighting and temperature for its residents. The building automation system relays real-time information to an intelligent technology platform, which uses smart algorithms to identify anomalies and maintenance issues. Facility managers can use this information to improve building maintenance and asset reliability; since launching this system at the Burj Khalifa, facility managers have reduced total maintenance hours by 40 per cent.
If you feel that your business could be doing more to improve efficiency, reduce energy costs, or anything else discussed, get in touch with Next Controls today.