Objectives Of A Smart BuildingNicolaas JV Vuuren
They say it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission. The premise being: it’s better to go ahead and do what you think is best and worry about the consequences later. This philosophy might be OK when it comes to borrowing your friend’s car, but it’s not a great idea when it comes to designing smart office buildings. Smart buildings combine the latest architectural thinking in corporate and commercial design with the most cutting-edge technology available. It’s essential that everyone involved in the early stages of the build – from the owner to the design and construction teams – understands that everything they do must add value to the entire project right from the start. In that way, no one has to ask forgiveness further down the line.
But what do we even mean when we talk about smart offices and smart buildings? Broadly speaking, smart buildings are those that use network-enabled building management systems to automate certain process. Put another way, smart buildings are what happens when technology meets engineering and architecture. The ultimate goal of this complex love triangle is to create environments that offer unmatchable security, comfort and safety for all occupants – all using the Internet of Things (IoT) data.
Most buildings have all their systems – HVAC, fire suppression, lighting and so on – functioning independently of each other. This isolation makes it impossible for functions such as lighting, HVAC, security, communications and IT to operate as a fully integrated unit. However, as the Internet of Things (IoT) increasingly infiltrates building construction and facilities management, building-wide systems integration is set to become progressively more important. This integration will effectively eliminate outdated, redundant silo units, replacing them with efficient, converged, holistic systems that are managed as a singular, smart infrastructure.
Benefits Of Smart Buildings
But just why is the Internet so valuable when it comes to managing and controlling our buildings? Aren’t we doing just fine having our individual systems working independently of each other? Most existing buildings seem to function perfectly well without Internet intervention – so if it ain’t broke, why should we fix it?
It’s a valid question, but one that could be asked ahead of any innovation. We were perfectly fine without electricity, cars, computers, smartphones…. but can you imagine your life without any of these things now?
Think about your current office. Does it really achieve optimum levels of comfort and health for you and the other occupants? Is it really economically and ecologically sustainable in the long term? What about energy efficiency? And does it meet the continually evolving needs and expectations of your increasingly technologically savvy employees?
Smart buildings are simply, well, smarter to build. It just makes sense to incorporate intelligent infrastructure, that is more than ready to handle any and all future innovation, into your building at the same time as the physical infrastructure. When you combine speciality systems with building basics right from the start, you take back huge amounts of control over costs – both initial and lifecycle. You also greatly enhance all your business’ functional capabilities.
The Future Of Smart Building Technology
It may read like something out of a science fiction novel, but the technology is real and set to roll out in corporate and commercial buildings across the globe. Imagine smart systems that could disable lifts and unlock emergency exits in the event of a fire. Or that could adjust your building’s heating or air-conditioning usage in response to changing weather. Imagine appliances that switch on and off automatically in response to grid pressure, running for longer at times when energy usage is lowest. In a similar vein, your building will keep track of its own energy consumption, and allow occupants to personalise their lighting levels and ambient temperature.
In the near future, smart buildings won’t exist in isolation, they will communicate not only with each other but also with your city’s infrastructure. Smart buildings will become Smart Cities.
We might still be a little way off from there, however, there are still many challenges to overcome. IoT technology is very new, and as such, standard protocols for manufacturing devices and applications do not yet exist. This makes complete systems integration tricky.
Despite this, the future of connected living starts with smart buildings. At Strategic Asset Management Solutions, we offer a wide range of future-proof solutions for your smart building. From project management to Internet Of Things and fire suppression systems, we can show you how integrating various systems right from the beginning has multiple benefits for the entire project down the line.
Contact us today.