What is a Smart building?

This is the first post in our Smart Building series where we’re going to be looking into several aspects of Smart Buildings.    

A Smart Building is defined as ‘a structure embedded or retrofitted with internet-connected devices and appliances’.    

Smart buildings have a lot of reported benefits including increased efficiency, reduced utility costs and simplifying daily life for tenants. Smart buildings achieve these benefits by using sensors and actuators to collect and manage data according to the business’ services and functions. The effectiveness of smart buildings centre on the use of interconnected technologies to make buildings more intelligent and responsive which as a result can improve their performance and optimise how space is used. There is no single set of standards that make up a ‘Smart Building’ but one thing they have in common is integration and the use of technology to maximise efficiency.   

At present many building systems operate independently and lack the monitoring capability that would enable them to adapt to different conditions or modes of operation. In turn, these buildings can often be operating inefficiently. A building’s system can be made smart by linking core systems such as lighting, power meters and fire alarms with sensor and control systems. At a more advanced stage, even systems such as elevators can be linked. This is all made possible by IoT (the internet of things) which is a collective term for devices that collect, receive and send data via the internet.  

Some examples of how a building can be Smart includes:   

  • Security and Surveillance systems   
  • Energy Management Systems   
  • Smart infrastructure management   

Only 17% of companies are operating smart building policies currently. However, smart building technology is expected to grow by 34% over the next five years and is predicted to reach a total market value of nearly $25 billion by the year 2021. As the technology underpinning this revolution continues to change how we live, smart buildings will become more prevalent in both commercial and consumer spaces.    

Next week we’ll be covering the types of technology used in Smart Buildings both now and what could potentially be used in the future.  

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