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What Makes a Smart Building Smart?

Smart buildings include the installation and use of advanced integrated building technology systems. These systems include building automation, life safety, communications, user systems, and facility management systems. The first buildings constructed were primitive shelters made of stones, sticks, animal hides, and other natural materials. Although it bears little resemblance to the steel and glass that make up the modern city skyline, this early structure served the same purpose: to provide a comfortable space for the people inside.

Buildings today are complex connections of structures, systems, and technologies. Over time, each component inside the building has been developed and improved, allowing modern building owners to independently choose their lighting, security, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems just like assembling a home entertainment system.

But today, building owners are starting to look everywhere and consider the impact the building will have on the power grid, the organization’s mission and the global environment. To achieve these goals, it is not enough to include systems that provide comfort, lighting and safety in buildings. The building of the future must connect its different parts in an integrated, dynamic and functional way. This vision is a building that performs its mission smoothly while minimizing energy costs, supporting strong power grids and mitigating environmental impact.

“Capital Tower, Singapore. This 52-story office building has won the Green Mark Platinum Award in Architecture and Design, along with energy and water efficiency.”


  • Connected systems:

Many buildings already use smart technology in their facilities to control specific areas within their structures. This does not mean that it is recognized as a “smart building”. The next step in achieving this is to ensure that all systems are integrated and data processing software is well implemented to maximize the efficiency of the building.

A centralized platform does not need to independently ensure the functioning of all systems, but having one enables building owners and facility managers to monitor, control and identify inefficiencies between all systems integrated into the platform through a single user interface and dashboard. can.

  • Sensors everywhere:

Sensors play a very important role in creating smart buildings. This allows building managers and integrated systems to properly gather the amount of data needed to make informed decisions to maximize efficiency and allocate resources appropriately.

  • Automation:

No data is wasted. Smart buildings are constantly collecting information that systems need to analyze in real-time. This continuous monitoring allows automatic adjustments to control and improve the condition of the entire building.


Purpose of smart building

It is not surprising that these developments are becoming more common in the construction industry. To reduce the environmental impact of buildings’ energy consumption, many small and medium-sized cities in the US are already requiring commercial building owners to disclose their green building performance to their stakeholders. By incorporating modern control and automation technologies, smart buildings

  • produce significant energy savings.
  • promote sustainability and protect the environment.
  • improve the health and safety of its occupants.
  • enhance the quality of life of those who coexist with it.
  • Significant energy savings can be achieved.
  • Promote sustainability and protect the environment.
  • Improve the health and safety of residents.
  • Improve the quality of life for those you work with.

The technology behind smart buildings

When you read how smart buildings work, you almost always notice an acronym that stands out. That’s IoT. But when we talk about smart buildings, what are they and how do they work?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a collection of web-based smart devices that use embedded systems such as processors, sensors, and communication hardware to collect, transmit, and process data collected from the environment. While not 100% human intervention is required, people are free to interact with the software to set it up and access data. IoT combined with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can make data collection much more efficient and easier.

Smart building
Smart building

Future challenges

• Energy consumption forecasting is an important tool that can aid in the recognition, measurement and management of demand flexibility. There are several challenges ahead in this regard.
• Future lines of research should encourage the use of current methods (physical, data-driven and hybrid) so that they can relate to the energy representation of buildings at different scales and under different environmental conditions. Current methods must address issues such as compensation for prediction errors, dynamic model selection problems, adaptive prediction model design, and data integrity.
• Some prediction methods based on machine learning use noise-free simulation data. In this way, the various energy performance is more predictable than the energy simulation results, leading to overfitting or even poor-fitting problems.
• Achieving high accuracy in energy use forecasting is critical to improving energy management. In any case, this requires the determination of an appropriate estimation model ready to capture the individual properties of the array to be predicted, a task that involves a lot of uncertainty.
• Many surveys have accommodated consistent timelines because the building’s energy framework has the essential function of meeting the needs of its tenants. For residential buildings, it makes less sense to assume tenant patterns are more erratic, irregular, and consistent schedules. A major source of this discrepancy is unrealistic input to tenant behavior and existing forecasting methods.

Advantages of Smart buildings

It is estimated that even small temperature changes can have a dramatic effect on operator productivity. A smart energy management system can turn lights on and off, increase or decrease thermostat temperature, and handle HVAC control systems based on occupancy without human intervention.
Potential cost savings: reduced employee turnover, reduced rental turnover, reduced heating and cooling costs
Security and surveillance systems lock and unlock doors based on visual identification, even when contacting authorities or emergency services if under warranty. The building’s “digital twin” supports indoor navigation and wayfinding, quickly directing security and emergency personnel to trouble spots.
Potential cost savings: lower insurance costs, reduce or eliminate business downtime
Smart infrastructure management can automate parking systems to control water usage and manage elevators, escalators and conference rooms. This improves productivity and tenant experience.
Potential cost savings: reduced rental turnover, reduced electricity and water costs, improved space management
Building operators can use data to identify indicators of potential problems and take corrective action before products and systems fail. By optimizing and prioritizing maintenance of existing building assets, businesses can save approximately 15% of their annual capital expenditures.
Potential cost savings: cost-effective predictive maintenance, reducing or eliminating business downtime

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Smart buildings make a key contribution to a future low-carbon economy where information systems and smart building applications are seamlessly combined and merged. More and more researchers agree that smart building applications should be hardware system conscious. In the long run, smart building applications require multi-layered software/hardware adaptability to achieve both high quality of service and energy/cost savings. Significant improvements require new hardware solutions, understanding and joint consideration of overall system issues.


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