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. Smart buildings are connected to a network with intelligent and adaptable software.
Smart buildings promise to improve efficiency by connecting these systems to reduce operating costs and increase the safety, productivity and quality of life of those who work and live inside their walls.
Smart buildings are also good for the equipment that runs them. Intelligent Management Systems can detect faults in the machinery and predict which pieces of equipment may soon fail. This can extend the life of building machinery, reduce maintenance costs and prevent complete failures, thereby preserving the reputation of the owner and, in the case of smart hospital buildings, the well-being of occupants.
Smart buildings have been shown to save energy, streamline building management and prevent expensive equipment failures. Although they are more expensive to build, over the long run, they actually cost less than conventional buildings over time as a result of how efficiently they run. The added benefits of increased safety and a higher quality of life for those inside make smart buildings a good bet for the future.
Return on investment for smart building solutions is getting increasingly attractive and will become more so as efficiencies of scale emerge in the era of big data. Defining and identifying use cases will be a critical strategy to establishing the business case for systems integration.