How does smart building technology work?
A smart building uses a variety of technologies, such as sensors and actuators, to capture activity data on different aspects of the building so that it can be analyzed and used to figure out which operations can be conducted more effectively.
Once the operations that need to be enhanced are defined, smart building technology integrates the systems to optimize them through automation to make the building more efficient, reduce costs and reduce its environmental impact.
Although smart buildings are optimized by technology, the same technology can be used to improve the quality of the conditions for the inhabitants in order to improve their protection, comfort and productivity.
Smart buildings examples
A smart building may be as small as 120 square feet. Ft. office or as large as a university campus, but they are rated as smart if they use technology to change and support the way the building is run.
Take the National Grid, for instance. They used technology in the form of occupancy sensors to make their buildings smart and maximize their use of room. They also collected insightful information about the time staff went to lunch, helping them to select quieter times to visit the canteen, eliminating lines during the busy hours.
Hotels may also follow this smart strategy within the hospitality industry. If they use a smart building system to collect information on how busy their facilities are, they can show people how active the gym or pool is at various times so that they can pick a quieter time to go.
Connecting Building Systems
Modern buildings comprise complex mechanical equipment, sophisticated control systems and a suite of features designed to enhance the safety , comfort and productivity of occupants. Many of these systems require machine-to – machine communication, but since data is of a general nature and the communication protocols are proprietary, information flows only along those routes. Smart buildings would need synchronization with all the equipment and systems in the building. Example is the optimization of chiller plants, which improves the efficiency of chiller operation by integrating external weather data and occupancy details. Another example is the use of building safety data to switch off lights and minimize ventilation when occupants are not present.
Smart Buildings And The Internet Of Things
Sensors and devices are important for any building automation framework. In terms of smart building sensors, these can be used to monitor anything from temperature and humidity to the number of people in a room. All of this gathers data and, hopefully, can be fed into a framework that can create and use that data.
As far as smartphones are concerned, as most people carry a cell phone or smart device, this can be used to gather information at a personal level, such as where the individual is inside the building, to direct them to where they need to go, or to remind them of facilities that meet their needs / requirements in the local area.
Connect both (both in-house sensors and personal devices) and you have a robust solution that uses IoT to its fullest extent. Of course, custom smart building apps are important to providing individual users with an understandable and familiar experience.