What is the Role of Buildings in Development of Smart Cities?

Smart buildings help better manage and monitor assets, reduce energy costs and carbon footprint, and shape the world around us. However, smart buildings still have a long way to go to achieve all of these goals.

Cities consume nearly 75 percent of the world's energy and account for 80 percent of global emissions. By 2050, 66% of the world's population is expected to live in cities. In addition, cities face new challenges, such as severe budgetary constraints, high expectations of their occupants, and the need to attract employment and investment.

To be more efficient, sustainable, livable, and attractive, cities need to become smarter.

So far, the discussion around smart cities has focused on technology and its impact on infrastructure, using technologies such as big data and information and communications to better manage urban assets such as public transportation, parking timers, utilities, and more. In the editor's view, however, a truly intelligent city should focus on its occupants and commit itself to three goals - improving quality of life, economic competitiveness, and sustainability.

Intelligent building technology controls air temperature, personalized lighting, remote safety, and streamlines processes.

First, why make buildings smart?

Using cutting-edge technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), M2M, Edge Computing, and Intelligent Data Analytics, smart buildings enhance the experience of your occupants and create a more attractive and desirable workplace. The building user's experience can be personalized to his or her liking, while real-time data and predictive analytics optimize his or her workspace. It also tracks and improves the health, performance, and productivity of residents, which is essential for any business because employees are the most important asset in any company.

At the same time, in smart buildings, building intelligence systems help maintain optimal performance levels, making them efficient and improving the efficiency of buildings. New sensors and controls have been successful in creating dynamic, grid-integrated buildings that now operate at the lowest levels of energy consumption. Smart buildings react to real-time operating conditions - whether it's automatically turning off lights when the conference room is empty, lowering the thermostat when the outdoor temperature rises, or the system diagnosing faults and correcting them immediately, will allow the building to operate at maximum efficiency.

Second, smart buildings make cities smarter

Smart buildings are flexible enough to meet changing occupancy needs, smart enough to take into account external and internal conditions, to proactively correct processes to improve efficiency, and to meet energy efficiency goals efficiently. The promise of smart buildings is incredible - making it possible with powerful, reliable technology.

Here are four trends in smart architecture that are driven by technology integration and make smart buildings an integral part of smart city development.

  • First, interoperability is becoming the new normal for smart buildings
  • Thanks to the Internet of Things, it is possible to connect all devices in buildings everywhere. Countless devices and systems in buildings work together, and big data analytics and cloud computing enable these devices to predict, monitor, correct, and control building behavior. New connections are taking place, not only between devices in the system, but also between buildings and buildings. With intelligent algorithms and big data analytics, large amounts of data from buildings are being translated into useful, actionable insights.

  • Second, the information loop
  • Smart buildings can now be truly refined. The deployment of the Internet of Things makes operations in buildings visible and transparent, from grid performance, where energy losses are often high, to final applications, and even how and where to save energy. Facility managers are better able to visualize what's going on in the building and make informed decisions to correct and improve the situation.

    Today's smart grid allows energy distribution to be managed in real time based on real-time data, rather than on historical patterns of power use as before. Together with smart meters, it can significantly reduce energy costs and improve sustainability.

  • Third, building management mobile
  • An integrated system in which continuous dialogue between devices means simple, flexible and improved control. While mobile apps that provide "monitoring alerts" for individual devices in buildings have been around for years, the Internet of Things has taken it to the next level. Device administrators can now not only monitor and manage various devices in one view, but also control all devices from their mobile devices.

  • Fourth, buildings have become more people-oriented
  • Intelligent building makes space flexible, adaptable and efficient. The needs and comforts of the occupants are the primary concern, thereby enhancing the well-being and productivity of the occupants. In fact, a study by Sodexo estimates that a comfortable indoor environment can affect employee productivity by as much as 15 percent because it affects employee health, cognitive ability, problem solving, attention and innovation.

    Smart buildings have great potential, and there is no denying that technologies such as the Internet of Things and edge computing are breathing new life into buildings, new or old. At the same time, the impact of architecture on people's daily lives is being redefined, and they are no longer just physical structures, but are slowly beginning to define the quality of life of citizens and the city as a whole.