Updated: Dec 31, 2019
What is a smart building?
A smart building is any structure that uses automated processes to automatically control the building’s operations including heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, security and other systems. A smart building uses sensors, actuators and microchips, in order to collect data and manage it according to a business’ functions and services. This infrastructure helps owners, operators and facility managers improve asset reliability and performance, which reduces energy use, optimizes how space is used and minimizes the environmental impact of buildings.
Why the Need for IoT in Smart Building
In a traditional sense, many building elements like HVAC, lighting, fire protection, and water cooling and heating work perfectly on their own. So why the need for IoT in smart buildings?
IoT experts and supporters of IoT in smart buildings say that most buildings are not able to provide healthy, safe, and sustainable living and working environments for occupants and residents.
Occupant comfort is one of the many pain points that IoT aims to address. Most buildings do not meet the building standards for occupant comfort. Building maintenance is also an issue, especially when it takes so much time away from preventative maintenance and other operations.
The creation of a smart building
Making a smart building, or making a building smart, begins by linking core systems such as lighting, power meters, water meters, pumps, heating, fire alarms and chiller plants with sensors and control systems. At a more advanced stage, even elevators, access systems and shading can become part of the system.
Here are some ways that IoT is enabling smarter, more sustainable construction:
Air Quality Measurement
Air quality impacts worker health and productivity. IoT, through interconnected sensors, can be used to check and measure CO2 levels and other air quality measurements. These sensors are connected to all parts of the buildings, which monitor and regulate the air levels in all rooms and corners of the building.
Improved Efficiency in Prefabricated Construction
IoT can make prefabrication faster and more efficient than traditional building methods. You can immediately access digital patterns and templates and help automate processes that go into prefabrication.
IoT can monitor and repair equipment with advanced sensors, manage your inventory and orders, track your deliverable with GPS, and access and share data with cloud-based technology.
Energy Efficiency and Green, Sustainable Building
The detrimental effects of construction have sparked great interest in sustainable construction and architecture. Green building aims to keep as much waste away from the landfill as possible and to reduce environmental impact through energy management. IoT can help engineer smart buildings to do energy-saving tasks like shutting down unnecessary systems automatically in unoccupied rooms of the building.
Creating or transforming a building into a smart building is beneficial for both the owner and the organizations working within.
These benefits range from energy savings to productivity gains to sustainability. Smart building strategies can reduce energy costs, increase the productivity of the facility staff, improve building operations, support sustainability efforts and enhance decision-making across the organization.
smart building proposed model using ruggedBOARD
Smart buildings go far beyond saving energy and contributing to sustainability goals. They extend capital equipment life and also impact the security and safety of all resources – both human and capital. They enable innovation by creating a platform for accessible information. They are a key component of a future where information technology and human ingenuity combine to produce the robust, low-carbon economy envisioned for the future.