In the digital era, it is no longer enough for buildings to provide space, keep occupants warm, and please the eye. New demands require the digital market to offer advanced complex solutions like smart buildings.
A smart building is a structure based on IoT technology that uses hardware, software, and connectivity to manage HVAC, lighting, security, etc., and create a comfortable and safe environment for occupants. The above elements interlinked form a complex solution that collects and analyzes building operation data in real time and improves building upkeep and maintenance as well as the experience of its occupants.
Why Opt For Smart Building
- Comfort for occupants due to controlling lighting, temperature, humidity, and other parameters and allowing for personalized comfort settings.
- Automated control of a building’s HVAC, electrical, lighting, shading, access, and security systems based on collecting and analyzing data on environmental conditions, occupant behavior, and more.
- Cost optimization due to analyzing building usage patterns and making adjustments to improve a building’s upkeep, optimize HVAC operation, match occupancy patterns to energy use, enhance space utilization efficiency, and more.
- Reduced environmental impact due to analyzing indoor and outdoor environment conditions, occupants’ behavior, and other data to optimize energy and water consumption patterns and reduce emissions.
- Integration capabilities due to which there is no need to construct or move to a new building to benefit from the smart technology. Modern smart building solutions can be embedded into older structures.
- Preventive maintenance due to analyzing real-time and historical equipment data and detecting patterns leading to a potential failure.
- Enhanced health and well-being due to supporting physical distancing efforts through space optimization and access control systems and improving indoor air quality through efficient HVAC operation, and more.
Use Cases of Smart Building Technology
Smart offices like the Edge in Amsterdam, Netherlands, or Capital Tower in Singapore use smart building technology to adjust building operations to workers’ needs and enhance employee satisfaction and productivity. Occupants of these buildings can book available office spaces, have seamless access to location information and personalized comfort settings. Building managers can handle maintenance and sanitization requests and get space and energy efficiency optimized.
For example, with the help of a special app, the Edge knows the routine of each of its occupants: it books workplaces based on their business schedules, knows which cars they drive and takes care of parking arrangements accordingly, remembers each occupant’s lighting and temperature preferences. Every aspect of building operation from energy use to coffee machines is monitored via its central dashboards, which helps optimize building resources and cut upkeep costs whenever possible.
Smart offices are also capable of addressing global challenges like air purification or fighting extreme temperatures. For example, with its five air purification systems, Glumac’s Shanghai office, China, ensures the best indoor air quality in Shanghai. And Hindmarsh Shire Council Corporate Center in Melbourne, Australia, has a series of underground thermal chambers and a ventilation system to maintain a comfortable indoor climate.
Smart hospitals can bring better treatment outcomes, enhanced staff productivity, and cost-effectiveness, as proven by the Ankara City Hospital, Turkey, or the Sint-Maarten Hospital in Mechelen, Belgium. These hospitals are intelligent ecosystems with a central building management platform that controls the subsystems. Smart building hardware and software are used to lower infection risks, optimize the use and maintenance of medical equipment, facilitate patient and visitor registration, provide individual comfort settings for patients, improve energy use, and more.
Smart data centers prioritize uptime, energy efficiency, physical security, and fire safety. They use smart building solutions that operate 24/7/365 as in NxtGen Data Center in Bangalore, India, or Interxion Data Center in Vienna, Austria. They leverage smart power supply systems that provide power independently from the public power grid, smoke detectors that identify incipient fires and activate response measures, and security management systems that ensure perimeter protection, intrusion detection, and visitor management.
Smart life science facilities face unique challenges like biosafety hazards or intellectual property loss and use specialized smart solutions for cleanrooms, laboratories, and critical storage facilities to address them. For example, Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Develco Pharma use tailored smart building technologies in their production buildings in Saint-Prex, Switzerland, and Schopfheim, Germany. The solutions they use provide security monitoring via smart surveillance systems, control airflows, detect and protect the buildings from fire, and share building operation analytics through real-time dashboards.