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June 5, 2018

Construction Trends 101: Smart Building

What are the most distinct and alluring features of smart buildings?

  1. Advanced building systems
  2. Interweaving people and technology
  3. Interconnected building subsystems
  4. Uniting the global environment
  5. Smart power grids



Historically speaking, the first buildings that have been conceived and constructed by human beings were primitive shelters that were made with sticks, stones, animal skins, and other readily available natural resources.

Throughout the centuries, there have been many industrial and technological advancements that have become staple in building construction across the world: in the western hemisphere, the oriental regions, and southeast Asian countries such as here in the Philippines. Deformed bars, angle bars, and other steel products have been adapted and utilized to be standard materials in building construction due to their strength and durability.

In this day and age, buildings of the future are aiming to dynamically connect the systems that are integrated into our society and environment. Smart buildings are essentially building services that are aimed towards internal productivity: illumination, thermal comfort, air quality, physical security, sanitation, and many more.

Smart buildings basically utilize information technology during operation to connect several subsystems that have always functioned independently. This is done as to achieve optimized levels of building performance.

Let’s explore the major factors that show how smart buildings are paving the way for the future:



Complex Building Systems and Infrastructures

Modern-day buildings consist of intricate mechanical devices and control systems that enhance the safety and comfort of its occupants. Most of these machines run with inter-machine communication, but due to the fact that data is general and communication protocols are proprietary, information only flows towards limited paths.

Smart buildings require connectivity between all the systems and equipment of a building. Smart buildings can boost the efficiency of a buildings temperature systems by collecting weather data and occupancy information. Another example is gathering data from the building’s security system in order to turn off lights when a certain area is evidently without occupants.



Interweaving People and Technology

Improving the Relationship between People and Technology

Even the most advanced and innovative software and hardware devices would be nothing without humans using them to boost their own effectivity. This fact still remains true with regards to smart buildings. People are a crucial component of the system’s intelligence.

Smart buildings provide intuitive tools that are crafted for the purpose of improving and enhancing the work efforts of the occupants. As the smart building develops, the interplay of information between smart building systems and its components will provide the grounds for ingenuity. Facility managers will interact with tools as to help them with doing their jobs better by providing more comfort, safety, and security with less money and energy.



Connecting Building Subsystems

A smart building can be perceived as a mother system that consists of interconnected building subsystems similar to the internet that connects individual computers to a larger network. With the integration systems of smart buildings, operation costs are significantly reduced.

Smart building systems can boost operation efficiency by:

  • Proactive equipment maintenance by means of analysis algorithms that can instantly detect performance issues.
  • Cost effective power consumption by alterations based on usage response.
  • Matching energy use and occupancy patterns.
  • Modelling ventilation and cooling systems by recalibrating the systems towards executing minimum power that fits perfectly in line with the desired comfort levels.

The open access information serves as a platform that builds significant value by connecting the flow of information.



The Global Environment

The Global Environment

For many years, building management systems automated the process of energy for heating and cooling.

Middleware collects data from all the automated systems of an enterprise, regardless of communications and manufacturer protocol, and merges it into a unified platform for analysis and reporting. One of the results is an emergence of web-based displays that provide visual shots of which specific facilities wherein there are abnormal maintenance costs from high energy usage.

Executives who are in charge of carbon footprint management and sustainability are now provided with visibility as to the greater picture of their organization. With information readily available and within easy access, managers are now capable of making better decisions that can make significant impacts towards profit margins.



Smart Power Grid Utility

Smart buildings leverage the knowledge that comes from outside its walls and windows. Smart grids are the ideal place to begin. With electricity markets evolving towards real-time, buildings are able to receive requests as to reduce the demand when wholesale prices are too high or in the case that grid reliability is compromised.

Although energy consumption and occupational comfort are vital to any organization, human development in terms of decision making can is now further enabled and improved with technology. Smart buildings provide building operators with the information and tools that facilitate smarter choices.



Key Takeaway

Buildings are continuing to set higher construction standards here in the Philippines. From deformed bars and angle bars to the most sophisticated of technologies, smart buildings are setting the waves of the future by going far beyond saving energy an contributing to sustainability; they are connecting us closer together.

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