What Is The Future Of Smart Buildings?
For business owners and building managers, the future of smart buildings provides exciting opportunities for growth, enduring relevance, and competitiveness. Technology within the built environment is advancing fast. The benefits span everything from productivity and supply chains to sustainability, safety, and occupant wellness.
With so many potential on-the-ground advantages, awareness around the future of building technology should feature among the priorities of businesses and building owners in formulating corporate strategies.
What is the future of smart building automation?
From altering existing building designs and processes to designs and infrastructure in new builds, smart buildings of the future will be connected, dynamic, centralised, and agile. Smart technology ecosystems will be crafted around the collection and smart utilisation of data, which will also guide and power automation. This leaves less to chance and optimises existing processes – making these smart solutions easily integrable and scalable for application across operations of all sizes and across different industries.
There are many different solutions on the market. With experience across private and public operations in a range of industries, the team of innovators and experts at Smarter Technologies Group have compiled this list of anticipated common features in smart buildings of the future.
Full asset visibility in real time
The power of smart technologies lies in their simplicity. A single management system monitors, tracks, and reports on connected assets. This provides a granular view on full-site operations for simplified management and optimised response.
Efficiency, sustainability, and cost reduction are some of the major drivers in the adoption of smart building technologies. The benefits, however, extend into the nooks and crannies of daily operations with short-, medium-, and long-term effects.
From governing and streamlining facilities maintenance to co-ordinating and controlling multi-site operations, the smart building monitoring technologies like those from Smarter Technologies are helping businesses achieve high-performance asset management capabilities. Long-term, cloud-based reporting based on collected data also means accurate, low-admin compliance and accountability.
Building Occupant Safety and Wellbeing
Smart buildings use technology to achieve people-centric outcomes. The system of sensors and gateways monitors conditions and sends notifications to a remotely accessible dashboard on pre-programmed datasets. Some examples of monitoring around safety and wellbeing include:
- Atmospheric conditions
- Noise levels
- Automated legionella monitoring
- Temperature monitoring
- Indoor air quality and ventilation
- Equipment maintenance, safety, and functionality
- Space utilisation and employee physical activity
- Fire safety
- Building compliance
This is but a handful of the building monitoring capabilities achieved by smart technologies. The result is reduced absenteeism, improved employee retention and staff motivation, and evidenced commitment to staff and customer safety and wellbeing.
Optimised Workflows and Supply Chains
Smart buildings are connected spaces, which means better communication. This impacts collaboration and information sharing in teams, increases situational awareness, and circumvents issues through instant alerts.
These solutions gauge how effectively space is being used, drive the best strategic decision-making around productivity and efficiencies, and guide inventory and maintenance management. Data insights over time inspire predictive analytics – leaving less to chance and formulating more accurate strategies.
Smart technologies are also fundamental tools in the move to automation and AI. This mitigates the risk of human error, drives efficiencies, and allows for resources to be used to best effect within operations. This kind of management can be applied to individuals and across whole supply chains in equal measure.
Smart technologies offer detailed insights into the performance of key machinery. Examples of these insights include the number of working hours, noise and shake, emissions, and even wear and tear. These insights lay the foundation for precision predictive maintenance scheduling. This, in turn, reduces the cost and disruption of reactive maintenance and its effect on reputation and meeting deliverables.
In the wake of COVID and the remote working requirements presented by lockdowns, the importance of agile workplaces have been highlighted around the world. Many businesses are strategising around hybrid work models and flexibility. This makes for resilient and robust operations that are adaptable to the influence of uncertain external factors.
Agile workplace principles have become important to employees too. Making inroads into smart building advancements, amenities, and work tools holds the potential to retain talent and show a commitment to safety and wellbeing. Smart technologies used with operational equipment and processes give employees the tools to support and guide excellence and provide a more personalised experience of the built environment.
Energy Efficiency and Reduced Wastefulness
The global climate change emergency is a catalyst for evolving environmental regulation and strategy. The race to net-zero should factor in all corporate decision-making. This is particularly important as businesses face uncertainty around the reliable supply and rising cost of energy following the outbreak of war in Ukraine.
Smart technologies give building managers and business owners the power to optimise energy management through data. Smart technologies and smart metering allow for the source of energy consumption to be identified and usage to be adapted around peak hours. It also provides an early warning when benchmarked efficiencies are not being met. Well-maintained equipment also tends to operate more efficiently, with environmental benefits.
The move to renewables also has the potential to be guided by smart technologies. These solutions paint an accurate picture of usage and helps to measure the ROI as investment is made in renewable energy infrastructure.
Through resource optimisation and reduced wastage, smart building technologies are instrumental in the shift to sustainable practices.
The collection and analysis of data over time is a powerful strategic tool for decision-makers in organisations of the future. Data can also be used for digital mapping and the generation of digital twins. This allows for the assessment of the cause and effect of different factors – without any real-life risk.
The smart solution
Smarter Technologies Group uses a network of IoT sensors, pressure pads and gateways – communicating data over Orion, The Real Time Data Network™. These smart solutions are tailored to the specifics of your operations, your aspirations and interests. Contact Smarter Technologies Group today to find out more about aligning your business to the future of smart buildings.