IoT Smart Buildings can be thought of as an ecosystem a dynamic entity with many devices of varying age that “talk to” and depend on one another, sharing data and responding to various needs. Whose facilities and systems (air conditioning, lighting, electricity, security, telecommunications, multimedia, IT, access control, etc.) allow integrated and automated management and control, increasing energy efficiency, safety, usability and accessibility, maximizing the functionalities.
But what if you don’t have a smart city infrastructure that can support smart buildings? The question itself actually suggests the answer, in that smart buildings as self-contained structures can act as seeds for a larger urban effort. Older buildings can also be upgraded with IoT technologies to take full advantage of the data they generate to make adjustments in how they operate.
In other words, smart buildings themselves can serve as the building blocks of the next intelligent city.
A smart building will meet the following characteristics:
- Efficiency: is able to collect data and learn from them to create new efficiencies, such as automatically turn off the heating of an unused room or using open window sensors that stop the air conditioning, installing smart meters, establishing zones and schedules to adjust the temperature, monitoring the quality of the air, and self-regulating. Through this consumption control and its optimization, using alternative and clean energies, efficiency will be improved.
- Eco-friendly: Buildings build using more durable, sustainable and efficient materials. And with effective systems, in order that the construction will have the energy efficiency certificate.
- Automatic lighting systems: depending on location (inside or outside), through motion sensors and establishing users preferences like areas or time settings.
- Flexible: highly adaptable buildings to implement continuous technological changes.
- Ergonomic: Smart Buildings must be comfortable for its inhabitants, since one of its objectives is to make life easier for its residents.
- Save: Using the most innovative security systems. High security biometric access control systems, parking access controls, control systems and registration through employee presence, video surveillance and CCTV, alarms and smoke detectors, doors management in case of a fire or flood emergency.
- Connected: To get all the necessary information to get the IoT data and make the building the smartest.
Underscoring this definition of smart buildings are companies like Microsoft.
The smart grid concept is already being tested around the globe. In Helsinki’s Smart Kalasatama district, every building is connected to a smart grid. Residents can check whether their lights and electrical appliances are on using a remote control system when they’re not home. Similarly, the system allows for real-time observation of water and electricity so residents know how much or little of these resources they use day-to-day.
Smart buildings, supported by IoT, will be key to improving the quality of life and personal well-being, while improving efficiency, productivity and economic growth.