Smart Buildings Makes Smart Cities
A smart city is an urban area that uses Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to increase operational efficiency, optimize city functions, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and citizen welfare.
Cities are facing challenges with the rapid expansion and increase of population, and to address these growing urbanization challenges smart city initiatives are required to promote environmental, economic and social sustainability development.
Smart cities use different types of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and applications to receive, analyze, and manage data in real-time to help municipalities, enterprises, and citizens make better decisions that improve quality of life. This includes data collected from citizens, devices and assets.
Buildings are one of these assets that play a major role to achieve the smart city objectives. One of the priorities to address the current challenges will be to transform buildings into smart and connected assets which will lead to changes in facilities management that reduce energy consumption for climate and sustainability goals and help improve public health and safety.
The concept of smart buildings is certainly not new; however, today’s definition of a smart building goes beyond automation and more towards intuitive operation. Some of the consideration that makes buildings smart includes the following:
Realtime management of life & safety: Protecting lives and properties is a priority for governments and one of the main contributors to the smart city initiative. Smart Buildings will use the latest technology to be monitored on a 24/7 basis, to receiving alarms and respond efficiently to verified emergency alarms and maintenance events.
Increase operational efficiency, reduce operational costs: Smart buildings will be able to go beyond individual/independent systems to an environment where the BMS, Lighting, Power, and Occupancy are fully integrated and can share data to improve operations.
Contribute towards the building purpose: The goal of a hospital environment is to improve patient recovery, while that of an office environment is to improve productivity. Smart buildings ultimately should contribute to the well-being of the occupants. A smart building is expected to intuitively adapt to the environment depending on occupancy, ongoing activities within the building that may affect air quality, and in accordance with environment outside the building.
Buildings responsive to demand response required by grids for peak load management programs: Demand response strategies offer the potential to reduce power costs and improve grid reliability for the utility provider. Smart buildings could help better manage peak loads and thus help reduce the overall electricity costs for the authorities by as much as 20 percent. To achieve this a high level of interaction between the utility and the consumer is required.
Zero Carbon or Net Zero Energy: Smart buildings need to adopt clean energy initiatives to help cities to counter the increased demand for electricity grids and power generation.
Bringing together people, connectivity, and the built environment: Buildings are expected to interact with people so they can have control over their environment. Hence, smart buildings should evolve to include artificial intelligence devices and apps on occupants’ mobile devices that can help occupants choose and find their way to the ideal workspace in the office.
A smart building is any structure that uses sensors, actuators and microchips in order to collect data, analyze it and manage it in real-time according to a business’ functions and services. A smart building uses fully automated processes to automatically control the building’s operations including heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, security and other systems. DOTS IoT solution enables the integration and operation of multiple systems from a single platform to provide intelligence.