What Makes A Building Smart?

Smart Buildings

What is a Smart Building?

As you might expect, there is quite a range of opinions on what is a ‘Smart Building’, even to the term itself. The BIM Wiki states that “Smart buildings are sometimes referred to as ‘automated buildings’, ‘intelligent buildings’, ‘connected buildings’ or ‘buildings that incorporate smart technology.’

“A more user-friendly definition is provided by WiredScore, who define Smart Buildings as being “inspirational, sustainable, cost-efficient and futureproof spaces that put the users at the centre. Technology creates the urgency for change, whilst simultaneously providing the means to adapt to it.”

Here at Ideal, we define a Smart Building as one that uses technology to enable sustainable use of resources along with supporting a safe and positive experience for occupants. What makes a building ‘smart’ is the ability of systems to talk to systems, and that’s where we come in.

Why do we need Smart Buildings?

Our friends at WiredScore explain this brilliantly simply:

  1. Technology in everyday life is driving demand for more data and better services
  2. Changing working habits
  3. The climate crisis

With four key outcomes:

  1. An inspirational experience, a workplace that attracts and delights, with flexible and personalized services
  2. A sustainable building through a reduced whole-life carbon footprint by using technology to operate the building more efficiently
  3. Cost efficiencies are created by optimizing the building’s performance
  4. Future-proof by design and able to adapt to new demands
Listen to the team at 22 Bishopsgate talk about their building, widely considered to be on of the smartest in Europe.

Expectations for Commercial Buildings

Construction and Facilities Management are two of the largest sectors for employment in the UK.

For Commercial Property, especially for premium projects, the expectations have moved far beyond just space in a desirable address.

As technology has evolved , the expectations from a building have also increased. Tenants and occupants demand quality amenities and services whilst in a sustainable building, balancing cost management, energy savings and minimising emissions.

So the three main drivers for investments in smart buildings are:

  1. Cost savings
  2. Tenant satisfaction
  3. Improved maintenance to reduce total cost of ownership
What are the benefits of Smart Building technologies?
  • Integration between Information Technology, Operational Technology and Internet of Things assets and building systems enables access to whole building data
  • Systems are interconnected, facilitating automation
  • Enhancing space utilisation by collecting data to inform decisions
  • Aiding preventative maintenance through combing asset and usage data
  • Smart buildings are more attractive to potential tenants
  • Smart buildings create better returns for investors as they are more attractive to tenants and can leverage the technology foundations to evolve and react to economic, social and technology trends
Are Ideal a Master Systems Integrator?

The Converged Network System is the core technology foundation of a Smart Building. Of course, the CNS has to be aligned with the other Operational Technology and Internet of Things systems and assets, so in many of our projects we take on a Master Systems Integrator role. This requires both our technical and people skills, as we work alongside the IP Partners to ensure that all the systems connect without restricting the scope for future evolution. This becomes especially valuable as you make the transition from Construction into Operation and Maintenance.