Lights in the city

As the world population grows, the majority of the population will be concentrated in urban areas. The cities will become more congested, creating challenges in managing crime, traffic, sanitation, and sustainability.

Smart buildings are one of the best solutions for the challenges with a growing population. Virtually any kind of building can be “smart,” employing automation to control security, lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning to become more efficient and comfortable.

Find out how the Internet of Things (IoT) is integral to the smart buildings of the future.

What Is a Smart Building?

Smart buildings are buildings with IoT-enabled devices that use sensors to monitor different aspects, analyze the data, and provide insights to optimize operations. These buildings have a central management system that brings together different processes to make the oversight and responses more efficient.

Some common aspects of smart buildings include real-time data transfer, two-way communication, and automation.

Key Components of a Smart Building

The fundamental component of a smart building is the ability to connect to a wireless network and collect, share, and analyze data in real-time to develop actionable insights. All smart buildings rely on this technology, along with an intuitive interface that can be used by technical and non-technical users alike.

Wireless Communications

Wireless communications allow the devices in smart buildings to “talk” to each other. Without the ability to share information, the devices wouldn’t be useful.

Real-Time Data Analytics

Real-time data analytics are necessary to provide decision-makers with information to understand the behaviors of the residents and identify patterns to minimize risk and optimize processes for better security and efficiency.

User Interface

If smart buildings are intended for widespread use, it’s important for the interface to be understandable and functional for non-technical users. They will be using and interpreting data differently.

Most smart buildings feature central data collection, reporting and management, and analytics in one streamlined dashboard, which is connected to the cloud. Decision-makers can connect from anywhere, at any time, to respond faster.

Advantages of Smart Buildings

Smart buildings are similar to living organisms. They take in the information from the surrounding environment, communicate with others, and make informed decisions based on what they experience. A smart building does the same by bridging the gap between the digital and physical environments.

Sustainability

Population growth creates considerable challenges with impact and sustainability. With social and regulatory pressures to lower carbon footprints and generate efficient, clean power, the best solution is for decision-makers to have access to detailed usage information and energy monitoring to optimize use.

For example, automated and centralized environmental controls can be optimized for efficiency, such as heating, air conditioning, and lights that only operate when there are residents in a room.

Efficiency

Closely tied to sustainability, smart buildings can improve efficiency by using automation to replace humans for mundane tasks. Smart buildings are quick and efficient to get set up as well, and they require fewer resources throughout their lifecycle.

Reporting

Smart building systems collect data on sustainability and compliance to generate reports. This not only helps to address the growing social and regulatory pressure to become more efficient and sustainable, but it saves decision-makers time in gathering the necessary information.

Personalization

Smart buildings are tailored to the user’s preferences. As more data is collected and analyzed, smart buildings adapt to the preferences of the users and provide personalized resources and efficiency. On the building-wide level, the decision-makers take measures to protect the health and safety of the residents.

Better Customer Experience

Though smart buildings maximize efficiency building-wide and adapt to user preferences, they also provide personalization and an improved customer experience. Devices adapt to the needs of users automatically, but they retain control over certain aspects like climate control or lighting in their personal space.

Health and Safety

Smart buildings offer a lot of advantages for safety. For example, devices can monitor and evaluate the building space to identify risks, such as gas leaks or electrical hazards, and address them quickly.

Space Optimization

IoT devices offer insights into how buildings can be designed and structured to optimize space to adapt to the needs of users, the weather patterns, and more, which maximizes efficiency.

Smart Building Use Cases

Smart buildings have practically no limit to what they can be. Each building can be customized to the specific needs of the organization, but these are common use cases for smart buildings and how they use data to optimize their processes.

Health and Safety

Smart buildings promote safety and health for both users and employees. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, a huge focus is on workplace health and safety. Smart buildings can monitor air quality, optimize cleaning schedules, and adapt ventilation as needed.

Optimization

The devices in smart buildings monitor and control the environment and optimize it with automated responses, such as air quality monitoring or fire equipment testing. Lighting can also be set to adjust to occupancy to reduce energy consumption and make the space safer and more inviting.

Security

Smart technology improves safety in a number of ways. Sensors can be used to track and control power, water shutoff, leak detection, motion sensors, and fire safety. It protects from both environmental risks and crime risks, as well as cybersecurity risks.

User Experience

Over time, smart buildings can store user behaviors and patterns to offer the most current information for the future. For example, devices can monitor the ideal temperature and lighting and adjust it to the ideal levels to ensure both environmental comfort and a well-lit, welcoming space.

Asset Management

Any organization needs visibility of the business processes and assets to provide the best service to their customers. IoT smart tags help decision-makers track their tools and resources. If anything is out of place or stolen, they’ll get an alert.

The Future Is Smarter

IoT adoption is increasing in virtually every industry, and smart buildings are the next big wave as we address the ongoing challenges of population growth and congestion in urban environments. Smart buildings offer numerous advantages, including sustainability, user-friendliness, comfort, safety, and security. 

Author Bio:
Xavier DUPONT

Xavier DUPONT

Xavier Dupont is the Senior Director Product Line, at Lantronix, a global provider of turnkey solutions and engineering services for the internet of things (IoT). Xavier’s and Lantronix’s goal is to enable IoT and their clients digital transformation by providing technology block from sensing, to data collection and visualization.

By Jim O Brien/CEO

CEO and expert in transport and Mobile tech. A fan 20 years, mobile consultant, Nokia Mobile expert, Former Nokia/Microsoft VIP,Multiple forum tech supporter with worldwide top ranking,Working in the background on mobile technology, Weekly radio show, Featured on the RTE consumer show, Cavan TV and on TRT WORLD. Award winning Technology reviewer and blogger. Security and logisitcs Professional.

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