Those keeping up to date with the building and construction industry would have most likely heard of this term. For those who haven’t, a smart building is an emerging trend that offers a number of exciting possibilities for businesses it terms of cost reduction, improved efficiency and benefits for the environment and society in general.
So what is it?
Imagine a building, along with all of its numerous components, technology, systems and amenities, that was completely connected. Lighting, security, temperature, communication, ventilation and other components integrated seamlessly in streamlined and functional manner. The ultimate vision is a building that is smart enough to optimise its own efficiency, while fulfilling its primary mission of providing occupants safe, light and comfort.
A smart building is designed to bring together the myriad of systems within a structure, that ordinarily operate independently, and share information between such systems to optimise total building performance. This is not to say that a smart building is entirely self-sufficient – but they are designed to be responsive and provide operators with actionable information and empower them to streamline overall building management.
Ok, so what does that actually mean?
To put it in perspective for you, imagine a structure that uses security system information to determine how many occupants are still in the building and actually communicates with other systems to turn off redundant heating & cooling, or lighting in unoccupied areas. By passing data freely back and forth, the systems are allowed to operate at peak efficiency and improve everything from safety and comfort to the cost of operation and carbon emissions.
Improving your bottom line
As a business owner, you naturally want to tighten your expenses wherever possible while still achieving your core mission. A smart building presents the perfect solution to do just this by optimising power consumption, matching occupancy patterns to energy use and running your building leaner and smarter.
Certain analysis algorithms have also been designed to detect problems in system performance, alerting operators to the need or maintenance or immediate repairs. Other smart systems can be hooked up to exterior data related to the electricity market and alter daily usage in response to fluctuating wholesale power prices. Such dynamic integration will ensure you only pay the lowest possible energy costs, while keeping ahead of any costly outages, or breakdowns.
As smart building technology continues to improve, we will begin to see more and more high level companies and small businesses alike making the switch to a more responsive and overall connected building model.