Are you tired of paying a fortune to keep your building running smoothly? Do you wish there was a way to make your space more efficient, sustainable? And better for the people who use it? That’s what smart building technology is for.
With the help of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, smart buildings collect and manage data about everything to improve their overall function.
By automating and controlling all systems, it aims to eliminate wasteful practices that cost people both money and harm the environment.
Everything from heating to lighting, ventilation, and air conditioning.
Facility managers can analyze the data collected by these sensors. They can understand their space better, track asset performance, reduce energy usage, and optimize space utilization.
With average energy savings of between 15% and 25%, it’s no wonder smart building technology is taking the world by storm.
In this blog, we’ll explore the ins and outs of such technology, its features, and how privacy can be protected when everything is being monitored.
Features of a smart building technology
At the heart of Smart Building Technology are three things
- A connected building management system (BMS)
- Data visualization
A connected building management system (BMS)
A building management system (BMS), also known as a building automation system (BAS), is a computer-based control system that manages the various systems within a building.
These systems can include heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, security, and other building systems.
Think of it as the “brain” of the building. A brain controlling and optimizing the operation of these systems to ensure they are running efficiently.
The BMS market was valued at USD 14 billion in 2021. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.64% from 2023 to 2030, reaching USD 49 billion by 2030.
The BMS can also alert building managers to potential issues or malfunctions within the building systems. This will allow prompt and efficient maintenance and repairs.
But in order for it to work, we need…
Sensors are installed throughout the building to monitor some key factors, such as:
- Energy consumptions. These sensors measure the energy used by different building systems and devices, such as HVAC systems, lighting, and appliances.
- Temperature sensors. These sensors measure the temperature of different building areas, allowing the BMS to adjust heating and cooling systems as needed.
- Humidity sensors. These sensors measure the moisture level in the air, helping to maintain a comfortable and healthy indoor environment.
- CO2 sensors. Carbon dioxide sensors detect the concentration of CO2 in the air, providing information on ventilation needs and air quality.
- Occupancy sensors. These sensors detect the presence of people in a room or area, helping to optimize energy usage and space utilization.
- Light sensors. Light sensors measure the amount of light in a room, allowing the BMS to adjust lighting systems as needed to save energy and improve occupant comfort.
- Motion sensors. Motion sensors can detect movement in different areas of the building, providing valuable data on occupancy patterns and helping to optimize building operations
With this data, building managers can make informed decisions about how to optimize the building’s performance, reduce energy usage, etc.
But what good is all that data if you can’t access and visualize it?
That’s why most smart buildings have a platform to make sense of all that information.
With a simple interface, building managers can see everything from real-time energy usage to occupancy rates, making optimizing building performance and reducing costs easier.
How can privacy be protected if everything is monitored?
Privacy is a valid concern when it comes to smart buildings.
But using sensors and other monitoring technologies doesn’t mean that it’s collecting sensitive information about building occupants.
It’s rather general information:
- The temperature is X
- There are X occupants in this office/building/ home
- The CO2 level is X
However, there are several ways that privacy is (or can be) protected in smart buildings:
- Anonymous data collection: Smart buildings can collect data anonymously without identifying specific individuals. For example, occupancy sensors might detect the presence of people in a room without recording any identifying information about those individuals.
- Data encryption and secure storage: To protect sensitive data, smart buildings can use encryption and other security measures to ensure data storage securely and only accessible to authorized individuals.
- Consent and transparency: Building occupants should be notified about what data is being collected and how it is being used.
- No cameras: It is advisable to choose smart building technology that does not rely on the use of cameras to monitor people’s activity.
Smart building technology is not just changing the way we live and work. It’s transforming our entire relationship with the built environment.
From connected building management systems to energy consumption sensors and anonymous data collection, everything is to fit your needs.
But smart building technology is not just about automation and efficiency.
It’s also about creating a building that values privacy and security and provides a trusting environment for EVERYONE!