There are several components of a smart building, but whatever design is created, integrated functionality and automation are at the core of the building’s intelligence. Over a building’s entire life cycle, more than 80% of its overall costs are linked to its occupants - energy, maintenance, waste management, etc. Within smart buildings, various sensor technologies gather data, control the use of resources and analyze operating information. This data is fed back to the building management system, enabling it to monitor and control various domains. A smart building helps property managers use resources more efficiently to manage direct costs. It allows them to work flexibly while often extending a unique customer experience to tenants and visitors alike.
Electronic access control is a fundamental component of the smart building - and it’s expanding deeper into the interior of the building, extending the opportunity for better-controlled interactions at more doors. Wireless access control offers intelligence, flexibility, and robust security without cables or wires. Rather than just securing a building’s main entrance and perimeter, wireless access control enables properties to equip interior access points to limit access based on needs and authorization. Data flowing back from the doors through audit trails help building management systems make smarter resource decisions. Wireless locks are designed for integration with other systems, allowing for interoperability between security technologies. For buildings that are upgrading to smart technologies, it ends the reliance on proprietary solutions. Future smart buildings will see artificial intelligence and machine learning built into the access control systems through edge devices. Predictive intelligence will transform the movement of people within buildings, enabling a more seamless experience by technologies like facial authentication.
Sensors within smart buildings are the basis for room automation systems - enabling predictive maintenance and allowing a series of instructions to happen during an occupancy change in a room automatically. For example, a sensor can detect someone entering a room, automatically triggering the lights to turn on and the temperature to adjust to a comfortable level. Similarly, if someone leaves the room and locks the door behind them, the lights can be programmed to turn off for energy efficiency and keep the room temperature at a defined limit while the room is vacant.
Connectivity is the backbone of a smart building, consisting of anything used to collect, manage, or distribute data from various platforms within the building’s ecosystem. Integrated systems that can communicate and interface with one another ensure that all platforms function as intended.
The smart building ecosystem of sensors will produce loads of data for the property. In order to derive value and optimization out of this, a smart building will require data analysis on several levels:
– Operational data analysis as an integral part of real-time control loops
– Tactical data analysis that will help property managers make decisions related to system configuration and maintenance
– Strategic data analysis that will aid people and organizations in making better long-term decisions on investments and policy decisions
The more technology deployed in a smart building, the less human control and management will be necessary. However, this does not mean a decrease in human interaction. Instead, smart buildings enhance the frequency and, if done correctly, the experience of human interactions with the physical space. If a building cannot adjust its operation according to user feedback, users will be unlikely to experience the building as smart in the first place. Providing a seamless, easy and intuitive user experience for each interaction, with feedback loops built into the maintenance protocols, enables an enjoyable user experience for any person interacting with the smart building.
A smart building is truly a complete package - a building capable of optimizing several qualities and mainly operating autonomously. By using smart devices, integrated systems and platforms, utilization and analysis of data, and incorporating feedback loops, buildings can run more efficiently, provide a more seamless experience for their tenants and visitors, and make better-informed decisions on property management.