The world that we all live in is constantly changing and evolving, along with our own personal priorities. For example, more and more individuals are focused and interested in energy efficiency, sustainability, connectivity, and wellness – things that were not in societal zeitgeist a decade ago. Whilst some of these things have started to get addressed, the worldwide COVID pandemic has greatly accelerated this. There now exists a huge need for remote monitoring, preventative maintenance, and space that are truly usable.
A living asset
For those people who are fully understanding of what a smart building is (for those who are not, read about them here – Utility Bidder), they are able to understand that they are living assets that are utilized by facility and building managers in order to improve operations. Smart buildings are fully connected, using the very latest technology to automate processes and controls which allow it to function. This includes things like security, air conditioning, heating, lighting and so much more. Automation is achieved through the use of a large network of sensors, microchips, wireless and wired technology to not only collect huge amounts of data, but to aggregate it and put it into a user interface that works to remove the guesswork out of the maintenance and control of a smart building.
The buildings that we live in are slowly becoming part of the Internet of Things and are increasingly being used as assets that are flexible and able to adapt to change.
An ever present need
Our need for smart buildings has always been present, it is just that we did not know this some twenty years ago, as the possibility has not yet entered our consciousness – and even if it had, the technology was not there to implement it. However, fast forward a couple of decades and everything is in place for the idea of smart buildings to come together. Buildings are being constructed in a way that they are no longer solid, segregated, fixed lumps of concrete. Instead, they are now becoming more like extensions of the digital realm, capable of new functions that make our lives so much easier and healthier, as well as enabling us to make better decisions.
An example of the many different ways in which a building can be made smart is through the installation of smart lighting. Because lighting is ubiquitous, by connecting each luminaire, it allows for sensors from within the lighting to monitor things like temperature, occupancy, and so much more. Thanks to advanced interoperability, other systems and devices within a room or an entire building can be connected to one another, thus resulting in everything being constantly monitored through a single, centralized user interface. In effect, doing this creates a building management lighting control system.
Smart building consultant, Roger Woodward, believes that the age of smart lighting has well and truly arrived, with data being able to unlock the power to provide services quickly and easily, whilst being able to fully interact with it.