More and more businesses are taking a cue from the smart home phenomenon and integrating new technology to make their buildings smarter.
Smart buildings integrate technology and systems that aim to improve their occupant’s lifestyle and boost productivity at work. These structures utilizes information technology to automate different processes to manage the building’s operations, which includes sanitation, security, temperature control, and lighting.
MarketsandMarkets report predicted that the global smart building market will grow up to 34% annually over the next five years. By 2021, the total market size for smart building technologies is predicted to reach at most $24.73 billion.
As engineers, architects, technologists and California builders and contractors look to increase the number of smart buildings constructed and upgrade old buildings with new technology, here are the trends to watch for.
Smart building devices are designed to harvest data and analyzed with CMMS software to diagnose performance problems. This helps notify maintenance teams of an impending problem and save you costs down the line.
For example, your smart HVAC system started operating at a warmer temperature than normal. This will be detected by your system and send warning signals to technicians so they can assess the situation before it turns to something serious.
Having a smart building doesn’t mean you have to build a new one. Advances in smart technology makes it easier for building owners now to retrofit to older buildings.
Retrofitting is the process of integrating smart technology into established buildings, which can help optimize the efficiency of operations giving facility managers greater control of the space and deliver frictionless workplace experience.
Energy efficiency and carbon reduction are both pressing issues in the business world today. Older buildings, with their outdated systems, are the biggest consumers of energy. Through smart technology, you can reduce emissions and transform your building to a more sustainable one.
Biometric Integration is another hot trend in the smart building industry. By using sensors to detect and trigger the lighting control and thermal comfort, experts are finding ways to increase productivity in office buildings and reduce stress by mimicking our natural sleep-wake cycle.
Another benefit of biometric integration is that this technology improves security in the identification process. It provides stricter access control and a lower margin of error than other forms of identification.
Biometrics are also more secure than RFID cards or pin codes since it is impossible to transfer fingerprints or any physical identification to another person.
Experts also predict how smart buildings may eventually become intelligent enough to identify and repair structural damages without human intervention.
Researchers are also looking into new sensing technologies for buildings to gather data on structural integrity. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is currently working on a new computational model, which aims to measure structural damage and stress after a seismic event.
Building scientists are also investigating using concrete formulation bacteria to induce a ‘self-healing’ process in buildings by exuding calcium carbonate to fill micro cracking as it occurs.
Regardless of where technology leads the development of smart buildings, educating building tenants and providing better information on energy management and other smart systems is a must to advance the smart building community.