Smart buildings integrate technology to provide solutions to long-standing problems of overspending and inefficiency in the construction and use of buildings. Inside a smart building, all systems are connected, from air conditioning to security to lighting.
Let’s just imagine walking into an office, checking in at our workstation, and having the desk automatically adjust to our height. The lighting also adjusts to our preferences and the meeting rooms and equipment we will need for the day are already reserved. Great, don’t you think?
But if you are like many and are just trying to understand smart building technology and determine how to apply it in your own workplace, read on! Here we will tell you what you should know about smart buildings and their benefits.
What is a smart building?
A smart building is one that uses IoT sensors (internet of things) and building automation to control its operations.
Sensor technology controls everything from lighting and energy use of physical spaces to user-centric functions such as orientation and scheduling of conference rooms.
How to create a smart building?
Creating a smart building starts by connecting central systems like lighting, energy meters, water meters, pumps, heating, fire alarms, and cooling plants with sensors and control systems. At a more advanced stage, even elevators, access systems, and curtains can become part of the system.
There is no single set of standards that constitutes what a smart building is, but what they all have in common is integration. Many new buildings have “smart” technology and are connected and respond to a smart grid.
You don’t even need to move offices or create a new building to work on a smart building. There are building automation systems like those from Honeywell or Johnson Controls so that homeowners can take advantage of the energy available in older structures.
5 key benefits of smart buildings
With the use of sensors such as people and occupancy counters, actionable data can be collected on how buildings are actually being used so that they can function better. Here are five of the key benefits of smart buildings:
They reduce energy usage
Figures vary by systems and buildings, but you could reduce a building’s energy consumption by 5% to 35% with the use of smart technology. This translates into significant financial savings, as well as a much more efficient and effective approach to achieving green goals.
They improve building efficiency
Discrete sensors provide anonymous data on how the building is being used. This allows smart systems to make adjustments on where heat and light are required, for example, and on the use of infrastructure such as air conditioning.
The sensors also help identify overused and underused areas in the building, providing the opportunity to optimize space use, which in turn can make growth easier.
Maintenance costs can be substantial when handled manually. However, without maintenance, construction equipment requires much more frequent replacement, eliminating part of the budget. Smart buildings allow easier predictive maintenance.
Sensors can detect building performance and trigger maintenance procedures before an alert is triggered. When you have a more detailed description of how the building works and is used, it is much easier to implement maintenance at the right time.
They increase productivity
Smart buildings are specifically designed to provide a more comfortable experience for their occupants. They can raise standards and ensure health and safety considerations are met, as well as ensure this is implemented cost-effectively.
Smart buildings make people more productive by continually monitoring building usage and adjusting systems to ensure occupants have the facilities they need.
Better use of resources
The data generated by a smart building provides key information that can be added to planning and make more efficient use of resources, which eliminates the need to rely on guesswork or anecdotal data, as this can be reported by genuine intelligence in real time.
How do smart buildings improve employee’s well-being?
One of the biggest contributors to disease in the modern world is stress, and its symptoms can manifest in the human body in a variety of ways, including headaches, depression, inflammation, and reduced immune support.
In the work environment, triggers such as malfunctioning office equipment, inadequate lighting, poorly designed workspaces, or inhospitable room temperatures can make employees feel sluggish, tired, irritable, and less productive.
Additionally, the added pressure on staff to remember to turn off lights and devices before leaving certain areas can be extremely mind-numbing. Occupancy sensors automatically take care of this problem, improving not only your building’s security, but also its energy efficiency, and of course it’s one less thing busy workers need to worry about.