What is a Smart Building?
With the advancements of technology in the 21st century, you may be familiar with the term "Smart". We all own some kind of Smart Phone, Smart TV, and even a Smart Watch, but what exactly is a Smart Building?
A Smart building is any structure that uses electronic IoT (Internet of Things) devices to monitor the daily operations of a building. From this, we can analyse the data to generate insights around usage patterns and trends to optimise our use of energy and resources. The aim is to deliver all the services that the occupants need, and at the same time keeping building operations as efficient as possible, for example, by minimising costs and reducing the environmental impact of the building.
Some of these driving motivators are:
· to reduce wasted energy consumption
· improve use of resources (become smarter)
· improve building operation efficiency
· become more proactive with building maintenance
· Reduce impact on the environment
Case studies in the Smart Building Industry, can show us where this has been employed successfully. SkySpark is a popular data analytics platform designed especially for Building Management Systems. You can read more on their published case studies here.
BuildingFit released such a case study on their use of SkySpark at the University of Utah. It revealed an issue with some monitored deck air valves, resulting in simultaneous heating and cooling. In short, it was wasting energy!
The manufacturer of the air valves then re-programmed their firmware in response to the actual performance recorded by SkySpark. By also employing some engineer recommended air flow reductions to improve efficiency, and save energy, this resulted in a documented saving of $386,000 per year for the owner.