Technology and Innovation have transformed our lives in every possible manner. Innovation is helping us conceivably in all the activities we perform in our day to day life, wherever we go, we are surrounded by technology. Smart buildings also known as automated buildings are all about connecting people with technology and intelligent systems. The conflux of the web of things with building operations is opening a window for the promoters, owners, partners and the occupants to make spaces which are digitally connected and give assistance to people at the center. Smart buildings are playing a pivotal role across all the structures including residential buildings, commercial buildings, manufacturing units, Sports stadiums, hospitals, educational institutes, airports, military establishments, etc. All these places witness the convergence of humans and the occurrence of their interactions with each other and hence these automated buildings facilitate them in performing their functions with enriching digital connectivity. Sports academies have become smarter with smart building concept as they are using the automation to enhance athletes’ capability by tracking and measuring their performance in real-time. With the help of technology, one can measure the athletes’ hydration level, their pulse, and the breathing pattern. It can even help to minimize the chances of injuries by measuring their fitness level and fatigue.
Educational institutions are also witnessing the enhanced digital experience. This conducive learning environment helps the students and teachers to excel in their work and maximize their performance. The current revolutionary trend for educational institutions and commercial buildings are the installation of solar panels and equipment to make them self-dependent on the energy front. This concept of process automation and optimization are creating a highly effective working pattern in the medical and healthcare sector. The conjunction of computer, networking devices, methods of cloud computing and data science along with IoT (Internet of Things) are making a significant difference in hospitals as it is enabling them to provide better services to their patients. These medical setups can have easy access to the patient’s medical records which helps them in knowing the patient’s medical history in detail. They can even predict a patient’s vulnerability to catching other disease or illness in the future by studying their current health conditions with the help of data science. The Smart concept in healthcare improves the capabilities of patients and sets high ethical standards in the healthcare industry.
Smart building is making an enhanced visibility level, enabling the workforce to make the most out of their time and space, boosting their productivity. It has made the stock handling more systematic and easier as aggregating, sorting, packaging tasks have simplified. From an organizational perspective, the automated building unit is establishing an optimal working environment within the organization. At times, it also helps in reshaping the relationship between the management and the employees by offering effective working ambiance. A proactive assessment ensures that it takes lesser time to resolve the issues. Use of Robotic sorting and smart bins maximizes the competency of the system efficiency. The sensors can identify the fill levels and RFID (Radio-frequency identification) governs the handling of materials which can be recycled and brought to use again. It stops the wastage of time during production and maximizes the output which ensures better quality and higher profits.
In today’s fast-paced world, a smart building is becoming a necessity for all of us. Every aspect demands time for smooth operation and its maintenance. So, it is like a must-have thing to keep abreast with the outside environment. With the advent of Smart Buildings, the infrastructure is turning self-sufficient in terms of energy, power, and water, which in turn contributes to the betterment of the ecosystem. It reduces excessive usage of water, helps in the utilization of used water, discourages waste generation and makes a better indoor environment which leads to a healthier and comfortable life.
Business leaders across the world are taking interest in embracing smart building systems however it is necessary to do proper planning to avoid the common mistakes while designing the automated structure. There are some common mistakes like the utility of the solution not taken in account, aimless spending without a clear planning, unable to evaluate the savings, failing to install multi-faceted infrastructure, purposeless collection of data, unable to bring in the flexibility for upgradation of technology in future which need to be kept away while designing the buildings. Owners should review the selection of technology from the occupants’ point of view and always introspect on how they can provide maximum utility to users to fulfill their requirements. The selection of a team should be in line with the business objectives; the team should be made keeping the complexity of the project in mind. It essentially should include real estate experts, operational leaders, and technical specialists considering the business objectives. Leaders or experts from all the above fields are crucial while making a smart building so that it can be run flawlessly. The building team should follow the project-based approach, which emphasizes on identifying the goals, analysis of the situation and requirements. It should identify the gap between the present state and the desired state from time to time. Proper training sessions or a workshop must be planned to study and analyze the progress and make alterations if any.
The key to a successful smart building is striking a chord between the long-term objectives of the owners and the immediate needs of the occupants. The performance of a smart building can be measured by its connection with the people and how good is the communication between the systems. In the end, we can say that a smart building can be termed as an ecosystem, a dynamic structure with several integrated devices that communicate and support each other by sharing data and catering the needs of the occupants. The increase in smart infrastructure has some tangible benefits which builders, architects, and occupants have started to take a note of. In all fairness to them, they have gone through the trauma of paying high operational and maintenance cost for a long time now. It is time they get a good friend in Smart Buildings that keeps all the overheads in check.