Smart Building 

At its most basic, a smart building is one that is using technology to share information about what goes on in the building between systems so as to optimise the building’s performance. This information is then used to automate various processes, from heating and ventilation to air conditioning and security.

Building overheads are a significant cost for any building owner/user. However, while these are a necessary business expense, the level of spend is often wasteful because it’s not intelligently applied. So, lights may be on in unused rooms or spaces heated when there are no people around to enjoy the warmth. The main motivation behind the smart building is to avoid this kind of wasteful use of energy and resources, both to cut cost and to improve energy efficiency.

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The main features of smart buildings

Systems are connected
The most fundamental feature of a smart building is that the core systems within it are linked. So, water meters, pumps, fire alarms, power, lighting etc are all connected. This is what makes a building “smart” – the ability of the systems within it to talk to one another.

The use of sensors
Sensors are an integral part of smart buildings and play an important role in collecting data to inform decisions about where to allocate resources. So, for example, footfall counters may be integrated into the building to provide information on where people are at certain times of the day and which areas are high traffic.

Information is gathered and analysed by the systems that have been put in place in a smart building – importantly, this is done constantly and in real time. This ongoing monitoring allows for automated adjustments that can control conditions across an entire building.

Smart buildings generate a large volume of valuable data about their own use, which is something that regular buildings simply don’t do.