The concept of a smart building is based on using interconnected technologies to make buildings more responsive, sustainable and productive for their users. An average building is being erected for the next few decades, but nobody knows exactly what the world will look like in 20 years. A building that is future-proof is one that adapts to its use. Different technologies are contributing to smartening: Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, building management systems, artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR).
A smart building is a building that uses technology to enable efficient and economical use of resources while creating a safe and comfortable environment for its users.
An increase in smart building initiatives can be clearly seen in the report of a Swedish research firm for Smart Building. In 2020, they predicted that the global Internet of Things in Buildings (BIoT) market will continue to grow significantly in the coming years. From $34,8 billion at the end of 2017 to $84,2 billion in 2022, representing a compound annual growth rate of 19,4%.
At its core, smart buildings use wireless connections that capture and share information about the building's functions (such as water usage, heating, and other utilities) to streamline their use. With this information, users can better see when and which resources are in use, control them remotely, and even automate processes.
Almost every smart building collects data by means of sensors. This means they can keep track of when a space is in use, what times the lights go on and off, which parts of the building receive the most traffic and what the average temperature is. The data collected by smart buildings is of great value as it gives building managers a lot of insight into which resources are being underused or wasted. It can help to see which areas are not being used, which lights are left on, and which entrances create opportunities for security breaches.
This information is then used to automate processes of heating, lighting and security. For example, users can adjust settings so that, for example, the heating is turned off at the weekend, lighting is activated by movement or the door is locked automatically.
Finally, data is shared with users so that action can be taken remotely in cases where necessary. In many smart buildings, users who forget to close or turn off lights and even appliances can do so at the click of a button. They can even use their smart building interface to get directions to a specific part of the building or to an open parking lot.
Smart buildings generate a large amount of valuable building data and about how they are used. Analyzing this data can provide insight into usage patterns and trends, so you can make informed decisions about how to optimize your building, bringing the following benefits:
Smart buildings reduce waste, increase safety and can help users save money. When managers know which offices, meeting rooms, or floors remain unused, they can reevaluate their use and prioritize other functions. They can rearrange seats or decide to rent out part of the office. At the very least, they can turn off heating and light systems when not in use, or automate the building to do so, saving money and promoting a more sustainable lifestyle. With their increased efficiency, smart buildings are inherently greener, while saving costs in the long run.
Security is also a big factor contributing to the rise of smart buildings. In a smart building, employees don't have to remember to lock or rely on the guard to check everyone's ID. With smart buildings you can have doors locked automatically or at specific times, you can adjust who has access to which parts of the building with a keycard and protect important data against breaches. In short, smart buildings are the future of construction and architecture.
While the technology required for a smart building has a high initial cost, energy and resource use can be tracked with greater precision to track the amount of money saved in the long run compared to traditional building structures.
The examples are endless for IoT in Smart Buildings. Inspired by these IoT examples for Smart Building? We are happy to think along with you in finding the right connectivity. IoT gives you the opportunity to optimize the quality, sustainability and efficiency of your activities. For more information, please contact our IoT specialists at; firstname.lastname@example.org
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