What technologies make a building smart?Blake
In order to be a smart building they need interconnected technologies that enable them to become more responsive to occupants’ needs while improving their performance against key metrics, such as energy usage.
So, what technologies do you actually need to ensure you reap the benefits of smart buildings?
Depending on your requirements and industry in which you operate, there are a whole host of options out there, monitoring everything from structural integrity to water quality and supply management.
But central to creating your smart building will be the building management system (BMS) – which controls and monitors the building’s mechanical and electrical equipment, such as ventilation, lighting, power systems, fire systems and security systems – from a single platform.
This system will be what delivers the data that will enable you to truly benefit from your building going smart, so consider what you need to know to achieve this and opt for a BMS that can supply customised reports tailored to your requirements.
Flexibility and ease of use should also be considered. Your requirements and your estate may change over time so find a solution that can grow and adapt with your needs while offering simplicity to users.
It should also be noted that once devices are connected to the internet, it is important to ensure they are secure, so ensure your BMS has robust security features.
Embedded smart sensors integrated within a BMS will significantly add to the intelligence of your building, and with wireless options now available, they can be installed quickly and easily with very little disruption. These sensors can cover everything from building maintenance and energy management to wellbeing and space utilisation.
In the future expect there to be options for additional personalisation that could even lead to additional revenue streams for property companies.
Other solutions to consider include automated systems, energy management tools and assistive technologies. These can have a significant impact on a whole host of business elements. From creating a more pleasant and responsive environment in which to work, to helping to ensure that machinery is operating at its most efficient level.
The key, however, is to ensure whatever systems you choose are interconnected so that they can work together to improve the performance of your building, while generating useful data that property management teams can use to make decisions about the building going forward.
Combined these tools will be able to not just monitor performance but also highlight inefficiencies or potential issues and respond automatically if conditions change beyond given parameters.
While much of the talk surrounding smart building focuses on impressive new corporate developments, it’s also worth noting that buildings can be retrofitted to include smart elements.
And the good news is that as technology has developed, so prices have fallen, making it a more cost-effective step than ever.
Not only that but installation time has also reduced significantly; it is now possible to fit hundreds of miniature, non-invasive, self-powered and wireless current sensors within a few hours. Once installed, these become part of the building infrastructure, never requiring maintenance, service, or battery replacement, and they can begin monitoring energy consumption immediately. What’s more, the software detects and reports excess energy usage allowing organisations to identify and reduce energy and operational expenses via a simple web tool, meaning no detailed technical knowledge is needed to benefit from these sensors.
Although older buildings may not have been designed with smart technology in mind, the latest kit is compact, discreet, and lightweight, making it easy to fit even in difficult to reach places.
To find out more about how smart technology can benefit your building, whether new or old, get in touch and download the whitepaper below.