"We are products of our environments" is a powerful quote which makes us mindful of the amount of time we spend in different places. Even with that awareness, we can do little about something so profoundly interlaced with our lives - staying indoors. On average, We spend 90% of our time indoors and are deeply affected by the indoor environment like offices, leisure spaces and even our homes. Staying indoors for too long can be detrimental to our health because of the low air quality and absence of natural light that hinders our circadian rhythm.


Many technologies have become part of the AEC industry that make life in indoor environments incrementally better. While these technologies have been useful collectively, one advancement significantly enhances their abilities to improve the indoor experience - Smart buildings.


Past, present and future of Smart buildings


While various new technologies improve indoor conditions, each building has unique requirements. Intelligent buildings are equipped with IoT and AI systems that continuously collect data on the system usage, determine it and adjust various parameters to cater to personal needs. Their Smart technologies make it incredibly easy to manage complex systems and help understand the gaps to make them better. In 2017, the global intelligent building market was $ 12,371 and is anticipated to reach $ 42,649 by 2024. That shows an impressive CAGR of 19.6% from 2018-2024.


Integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) into building management systems is promising for the future of Smart buildings. Businesses equipped with cutting-edge technology have Smart systems for their structures as a part of their arsenal. They are inclined to use LED lighting and sensor-enabled network since these help slash energy costs to 50% or more. And considering that Smart building systems haven’t been around for long, the future is even more promising. 


What is a ‘Smart’ building? 


A Smart building can analyse operations and subsequently adjust power, temperature and lighting based on real-time inputs and a pre-determined schedule to maximise user comfort. It can achieve this with the help of advanced wireless sensors and computer automation. While previously all the systems did exist simultaneously, they did not have a connection through a network. Intelligent building technology helps all the systems to be connected and makes it possible to manage it all under a single software, thus making them more efficient. Its ability to gather relevant data and process it through a computer system helps optimise operations, including money and energy savings.


The continuously rising demand for comfort, degrading climate conditions and rising energy costs are increasing the demand for intelligent buildings. They are constantly becoming a more preferred option considering the immense benefits available compared to a standard structure with high operation costs, low comfort and energy wastage. The potential of Smart buildings includes - being able to determine the number of people in the building and automatically adjust the air conditioning, ventilation, lighting and wifi connections and make the indoor conditions considerably comfortable. It would result in an enhanced user experience as a result of the consideration of every person by the system while also being highly efficient in energy consumption.


What is IoT? why is it important?


A network of physical objects - ‘things’ - embedded with sensors (to collect data), softwares (to interpret and utilise it) and other technologies is called the Internet of things. They connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the internet. The possibilities for its applications are limitless, ranging from ordinary household objects to sophisticated industrial tools. An example of it would be able to control your home with Google Home or Alexa with the ease of your Smartphone. We can connect to everyday objects such as kitchen appliances, cars, thermostats and baby monitors. According to predictions, the number of devices connected to the IoT will grow to 25 billion+ by 2030. 


Why is investing in Smart buildings a great idea?


Today, more than ever, with rising competition and a great emphasis on productivity, there is a great demand amongst everyone to live and work in buildings that operate exceptionally well. Intelligent building systems take care of this demand well. It provides a high level of comfort at cost savings compared to a regular building as its execution includes optimising four elements - structure, systems, services and management. These elements cover everything from HVAC, electrical systems, water services, elevator systems etc. These buildings are set up with Smart IoT remote sensors and controllers to improve their operations. 


The key benefits of using Smart systems


1. Sustainability.

With the amount of efficiency, cost and energy savings Smart building systems bring into the picture, they also become the forefront of making buildings more sustainable. 


2. Cost Saving

Since these buildings optimise functions in real-time, they don't keep running at their entire capacity all the time, only allowing required operations at the ideal scale. It helps in achieving high levels of energy efficiency. 


3. Self-reliant technology 

Intelligent buildings have their functions run independently with the help of sensors and software, thus leaving no scope for any discrepancy. It is capable of self-management, learning, anticipating and adapting on its own according to the requirements of the occupants. The best part of these systems is that it requires no human intervention. It updates the management of the latest data and any equipment discrepancy.


4. High user satisfaction

In these systems, user comfort is central, so they don’t compromise it to cover other elements. User satisfaction is at the forefront of Smart building technology helps achieve maximum comfort and productivity.


5. Increased Security

Security cameras, User Acess control, movement detection and even enhanced cybersecurity features are a big part of Smart building systems and help improve security.


6. Measurable Impact 

The data acquired from the systems can help understand performance and use this data to constantly optimise systems and features to achieve the best possible performance and experience. 


We at Graniti Vicentia are committed to making architecture an investment for businesses to grow and for the homeowner to have an enriched living experience. Integrating technology with architecture is the future, and we help our clients achieve the same. Visit our portfolio to see our work. Contact us to know more.