This year is set to establish a new benchmark for smart buildings in New Zealand, with advancements in technology – particularly sensor technology and data analysis software – enhancing what is possible to accomplish in a commercial space. Already we are seeing smart building technologies ensuring greater efficiency, safety and comfort, as well as helping business and property owners realise cost savings and and key deliverables. In this article we’ve broken down the six key elements of a smart building, and how integration and data analysis will greatly extend what is possible with the technology.
HVAC (heating, ventilation, air con):
The devices and software that enables users to automate and regulate temperature, heating, cooling, and air quality is a cornerstone of any smart building. Monitoring and analysing enables users to boost the comfort of the occupants while also increasing energy efficiency of the building.
Smart lighting is hugely important for both aesthetics and functionality. With a combination of lights, occupancy sensors, window treatments and intelligent lighting controls, users are able to create a healthy and pleasant environment while also optimising energy management.
AV systems and collaboration platforms:
Intelligent and high quality audio/video systems and platforms which enable communication and collaboration are a necessity for every modern business. The best smart building providers offer customisable options, immersive quality, high fidelity speakers and audio distribution equipment so users are able to complete their tasks and communicate with people in and out of the building with ease.
Security is becoming an increasingly important part of any smart building. Businesses of today need to be protected against physical and digital attacks, and proactive business owners are planning their security system from the offset. This includes alarms and alerts, access control, security around interoperability and data protection.
Providing centralised control of AV, room scheduling, voice and data, HVAC, security, lighting and energy management is a robust and intuitive control system. These systems, such as Crestron Fusion software, communicates with control systems on a central dashboard, enabling users to monitor, manage and control everything on a single system – whether they are looking at a single room, the whole building, or the global enterprise.
Sustainability and energy efficiency are big topics today and smart building technology providers are incorporating more energy management software and hardware into their offerings. For instance, today systems are available that enable users to track energy use and respond accordingly, reducing overall consumption and costs, getting smart about peak and off peak times, and including clean energy options such as solar power.
Each of these components are evolving as technology advances. However, the real game changer is the greater integration of the different components and the ability to extract more detailed and intelligent data about the building and how its used. This means opportunities for better automation and smart decision making to increase the efficiency of the building and the happiness of its occupants.
Advanced sensor and IoT (Internet of Things) technology enables business owners today to track the movements of occupants, the temperature, use of rooms and air quality, while other trackers monitor use of lights, media systems and HVAC systems. Leaders in the smart building space offer solutions that integrate all of the technology and systems into the same platform to give total visibility of these elements on a single management system, as well as providing ongoing data collection. This detailed data can then be used to make more informed decisions about automation, as well as staffing, scheduling, purchasing, workspace design, maintenance and more.