A smart building uses technology to obtain data. The data is then used to enable automatic, efficient, and economical use of resources while maintaining a safe and pleasant environment for occupants.
Typically, a smart building is a “new build”, but the term can also apply to legacy buildings retrofitted with smart technology. In either case, Internet of Things (IoT), building management systems, and artificial intelligence are used to control and optimize the performance of the building. This includes:
In this article, we showcase 5 smart buildings that use technology in different ways to the same end: sustainability, productivity, and wellbeing.
The building generates around 70% less CO2 than similar buildings through a combination of rainwater harvesting, black water treatment, solar heating, and automated building management systems.
Key features of the building include:
When the DPR regional office in San Francisco was being designed, its goal was “to incorporate cost-saving and environmentally-friendly features” that would achieve net-zero energy certification and serve as a ‘living lab’ to test the newest and most intelligent energy-efficient products on the market.
As a result, it uses many smart features, including:
It has perhaps the world's largest deployment of IoT sensors in a single location (28,000), with the collected data used to adapt the building to meet real-time requirements. For example, areas can automatically be shut down or closed when no one is present, thereby saving energy.
Other smart features in The Edge include:
The Allianz Arena located in Munich, Germany is a football stadium with a capacity of 70,000 spectators.
It is nicknamed the Inflatable Boat (Schlauchboot) and has a unique lighting feature. The arena’s exterior, through the control of 3,000,000 lights, can change color, e.g. have rainbow colors during Pride month.
Internally, the stadium uses the latest smart technology to provide a pleasant and safe environment for both the football club and its supporters. For example:
The external lighting system is energy efficient and saves approximately 60 percent on electricity and 362 tons of CO2 per year compared to other similar facilities.
The Leadenhall Building is London’s second-tallest building.
Known as the “cheesegrater”, owing to its shape, extensive use of IoT technology was made during its construction. RFID-based data tags helped builders and construction companies track the location of components and installation.
This enabled around 83% of the construction to be completed off-site, streamlining the building process, improving project management and control of the building works.
The 48-story building includes many smart features, including:
These five examples demonstrate how buildings can integrate IoT and smart building technology in many different ways.
From the initial design and construction, where RFID tagging was used to track building components through renewable energy production and sustainability, to intelligent working and sporting environments, energy savings, recycling of air and water, and access control smart buildings are now on the rise.
As the world continues to fight against climate change and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a greater need for buildings to become more energy-efficient and to lower their CO2 footprint. In addition, after millions of employees successfully adapted to working from home, the office workspace needs to be more wellness-aware in order to attract workers back.
Intelligent buildings are here to stay.
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