If fighting over the thermostat in your office is a daily struggle, a “smart building” might be the solution. It is hard to dispute that a big point of contention between colleagues is the temperature of their communal workspace. Not only does it depend on people’s individual tolerance, but also sections of the building have different temperature variances depending on shade, sun exposure as well as the age and efficiency of the HVAC system. Even with a brand new HVAC system in a new building, maintaining consistent temperatures across an office remains a challenge. Enter “Smart Buildings.”
A “smart building” utilizes technologies to automate building management. Software is in place to manage the buildings operations including temperature and lighting. Secondly, sensors are used to identify temperature and motion changes in the room and will deliver the information to the software for learnings. With these sensors scattered throughout the building, a building management system can target temperature and lighting changes only to rooms in need of adjusting. The building data is tracked over time so that the software can account for seasonal and occupancy changes automatically. Building managers can also use the technology to manage lighting systems in buildings. The technology can sense when a room is empty and it will shut off the lights.
Where do we find these “smart buildings?” A good place to start would be newly emerging “smart cities” that offer a wide array of networked technology that control facets of transportation, air and water quality. The number of “smart cities” is anticipated to grow steadily as it is motivated by population trends like migrating from rural to more urban areas. In the next decade, both North America and Europe are slated to be home for half of the world’s “smart cities.”