Everything seems to be smart these days. Smartphones, smartwatches, smart homes and now, smart buildings. But what exactly is a smart building? Keep reading to find out all you need to know.
What Are Smart Buildings?
Buildings have come a long way over the years. From bricks and mortar to high-rise glass skyscrapers, the architectural evolution of buildings has changed tremendously. No longer do buildings consist of four walls to provide shelter and warmth. Nowadays, intricate systems are installed to accommodate the modern ways of life, such as air conditioners and central heating systems, electricity supply, access control, security and much more.
But when does a building stop become a standard building and become a smart building?
The term ‘smart’ is an acronym for ‘Self Monitoring, Analysis and Report Technology’. When applied to an object, such as a ‘smart building’, it is implying that the building has added value compared to the non-smart version. This is in terms of using the Internet of Things (IoT), to be controlled remotely via an internet connection, automated, provide monitoring and reporting on the system’s actions, as well as generally being connected and integrated into our digital world.
A smart building is therefore a building that uses devices such as sensors, the internet and software to connect its various systems. This allows for the controlling and monitoring of the building characteristics, analysis of the data and reporting on the insights to better understand the building’s efficiencies in the way that it operates.
What are the Features of a Smart Building?
Within a smart building, all the internal core systems are connected and interlinked. For example, the security system, lighting set-up and central heating. With a smart building, all of these systems are able to communicate with each other and work together to improve building efficiencies.
It’s been found that smart buildings have an energy saving of 30-50% compared to existing buildings! Not only costs-efficient but better for the environment too.
The integration of sensors within a smart building is key in its ‘smart’ functioning and are responsible for collecting the building’s data. This data is then used to make decisions on where to allocate resources. For example, your access control system can determine which rooms within a building are occupied and this data can be communicated to your lighting and central heating systems to notify them to only operate in the rooms where people are present.
The use of sensors in a smart building, therefore, helps to create efficiencies, such as only lighting up and heating rooms when people are in them, thus providing efficient energy usage that is cost-effective.
A smart building can be set up to carry out the gathering and analysis of building data automatically, as well as in real-time. This means that all efficiencies are made with live data and allows for constant adjustments to be made without the need for staff involvement.
With constant monitoring and data collection, smart buildings provide an unbelievable amount of information that can be used to improve building operations, as well as provide critical business insights that an average building just isn’t able to deliver.
What Types of Systems are Connected in Smart Buildings?
There are so many systems that can be connected within smart buildings. With the fast development rate of technology, they are only likely to increase. Examples of the most common types of systems connected in smart buildings are:
- Security systems – including elements such CCTV, alarms, motion sensors etc.
- Lighting set-up – including emergency lighting.
- Central heating
- Air conditioning
- Energy supply
- Water meter
- Access control system
Security & Fire Safety Systems in Smart Buildings
At BusinessWatch, we specialise in both integrating your security, fire safety and access control systems into smart buildings, as well as upgrading existing systems to work with a smart building. We are fully NSI Gold approved and provide a bespoke design that will work for your business, building and employees.
Get in touch for a free, no-obligation quote today by calling 0330 094 7404 or contacting us online.