Smart Buildings: What Are They And How Do They Benefit Us?

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For most people, the idea of working inside of a building that can “remember” or “anticipate” their preferences for lighting and temperature settings is a favorable concept. Not only would this make the building safe and convenient, but would also curb energy costs. In short, those people that work or live in a smart building can anticipate these benefits and more!

Smart Buildings: What Are They?

A smart building is best described as an almost living, breathing, and evolving entity. It has a brain known as the BMS or Building Management System. What makes these properties vastly different from traditional architecture is their ability to automate and wholly control their processes. This means that plumbing, HVAC systems, signage, lighting, and security are all linked together and controlled by the BMS. Automation is used to take this advanced technology and allow the building to function seamlessly and with more efficiency.

What Is Smart Technology In A Building?

Smart buildings rely on a number of cutting edge technological advancements such as:

*BMS or Building Management Systems– It is the brains of the operation and takes the form of a computer to automate the systems of the building. In short, it controls the functioning equipment found inside of the dwelling. 

*IoT or Internet of Things- This is the technology that is responsible for connecting and allowing the devices to communicate within the building. This technology will include the lighting, sensors, and the measurement tools responsible for analyzing data. 

*Sensors- Comprised of thermal or infrared technology, sensors are responsible for a number of efficiency aspects of running a smart building. This includes measuring occupancy, power consumption, and activity levels. The data is either analyzed by human users or AI.

*Actuators- This is the mechanism in smart buildings that creates motion. Many will most often recognize this technology as being responsible for blinds, locks, solar panels, and the positioning of security cameras. In short, it is responsible for any device requiring automated motion.

*AI or Artificial Intelligence- Is the machine that replaces human decision making skills. It has the ability to learn about actual energy consumption and control it. AI can also pinpoint energy abnormalities such as malfunctions in certain sectors and alert the proper humans. It can also ascertain people’s preferences for lighting and energy usage.

*AR or Augmented Reality- It shows your real-life environment within a layer of augmentation over it. During emergency situations or when maintenance work is required, AR makes the process go smoothly. For example, contractors can access instructions, warnings or troubleshooting advice through the use of AR enabled glasses. 

All of the technologies described above harness data and enable the building to make intelligent decisions such as counting people or running the WiFi system. The data collected through the use of technology is then analyzed using an insight tool that can help occupants, employees or building owners make wise decisions.

Advantages That Only Smart Buildings Can Offer

A smart building firm, known as Memoori, by the year 2025 will have installed over 3 billion technology devices in smart buildings. In fact, highest growth rates are projected for devices that can help track the analytics and occupation rates of the buildings. It’s not hard to see how this technology will serve building owners as smart buildings are the future.

Smart buildings have the ability to cut operational costs by up to 15%. By helping curb energy costs through waste reduction and help employee productivity in working conditions, it seems that the advantages are endless when it comes to smart technology enabled buildings!

Advantages of smart buildings include but are not limited to:

*Better control over energy efficiency.

Smart buildings are able to analyze the technology systems that are inefficient in a building’s processes and implement the necessary changes to increase efficiency. For example, the building can turn lighting or the HVAC system on and off, or simply adjust it to the preferences of the current occupants while also taking the surrounding environment into consideration (i.e. natural lighting). A great use of this technology is seen where buildings run large freezers or refrigeration systems whose functions they can decrease as needed.

*A reduction in operational or maintenance costs.

Buildings have complete control over the smooth running of the appliances used by occupants. This enables them to directly alert building owners in case of a malfunction or when maintenance is projected as necessary. Having this extra technology can help eliminate the need for manual service checks. Additionally, by scheduling regular maintenance checks, the building can cut down on costs associated with actual proactive maintenance.

*A better indoor environment for everyone.

Occupants will find smart buildings offer unsurpassed comfort through better temperature and indoor air quality control. They can monitor for high levels of toxins and alert the necessary humans. In fact, a study has revealed that workers can experience an increase in productivity of 8-11%. By employing the correct lighting, buildings can help increase productivity even more of up to 23%. Smart buildings can also sense occupant movements and help them adhere to social distancing guidelines.

*Data interpretation and implementation is carried out.

Smart buildings are able to collect large amounts of data, analyze it, and implement their final decisions. Building owners are able to access the analyzed data, such is the case with energy consumption, and make informed decisions about their properties.

Many investors and organizations have trouble harnessing the true power of analytic tools. This is due in part to not having real-time collected data that can help them make decisions. In short, smart buildings offer great projected insight and a seamless way to anticipate future events.

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