Whether we embrace the reality or not, the Covid-19 Pandemic will be one of those things that will never fully disappear. It’s effects on society and the world at large will be felt and its imprints will shape our future. Specifically in our corporate world, the pandemic has spurred a great shift in the way businesses are run. “Virtual Reality” has become a widely accepted and even comfortable mode of communication and connection in various areas of our personal lives. The COVID-19 shutdown has emphasized the need for remote management technologies, and the flexible approach that businesses have adopted regarding a remote work environment has demanded that property owners and managers take a good look at both their commercial and residential properties and their changing needs. Learn how smart buildings can influence this change for the betterment of our society.
If smart buildings were on the rise pre-pandemic, currently the trend has skyrocketed. Smart building solutions are poised to transform today’s environments. Whether it’s in the Industrial arena, urban, commercial or residential buildings, the global smart building market is projected to reach $150.6 billion by 2030. With the pace of technological modernization showing no sign of slowing, property managers and owners must jump on the fast train if they wish to remain relevant.
So what exactly are “smart buildings” and why should they be of any interest to you as a property manager or owner?
Smart buildings are sometimes referred to as ‘automated buildings’, ‘intelligent buildings’ or buildings that incorporate smart technology. Building automation is the automatic centralized control of a building’s HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), electrical, lighting, shading, Access Control, Security Systems, and other interrelated systems through a Building Management System (BMS) or Building Automation System (BAS)
These systems empower a facility manager to optimize building performance while greatly easing the workload and stressors associated with building maintenance and management as well. However, while BMS and BAS enable you to monitor and control the major operational components of your buildings, this automation can be greatly improved with the emergence of “the Internet Of Things” in the last decade or so. The Internet of Things (IoT) describes physical objects that are embedded with sensors, processing ability, software, and other technologies, that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet or other communications networks. The edge that IoT provides is the flexibility and accessibility, as almost anything can be connected to the internet to provide data updates with the implementation of IoT. Combining BMS with IoT is the goal when setting out on the adventure of converting your properties into smart buildings.
The advantages for property owners, managers and tenants alike are many. Let’s explore some of them together.
Improve Building Efficiency:
The key to efficiency in any project is consistent and effective communication. Integrating building automation, user systems, and facility management systems will offer consistent “communication” by offering insight into your electricity, gas and water usage, lighting usage, hvac needs etc. This will empower you to stay one step ahead of any problems that may arise as well as to adapt to the needs of the occupants in the building. For example, sensors on your water tanks and your property’s surveillance system can be set up to automatically alert off-site engineers and managers in the event of an emergency such as a water leak or a security risk. With a BMS, remote personnel can monitor, optimize, and even resolve issues or problems from afar. This “communication system” will also effectively help you to determine waste sources and usage trends with little effort and tracking on your part.
Increase Productivity/Comfort of Occupants:
As many businesses adopt flexible working policies, a comfortable home environment and workspace have become essential. In the office place, IoT occupancy and traffic flow data allows operational teams to effectively gauge if and how different areas of the office space are being used, thus saving on unnecessary costs. Improved audio and video technology allows employees to telecommute more comfortably and more effectively. Smart technologies like occupancy sensors, smart thermostats, and HVAC and lighting controls can help reduce energy usage in unoccupied offices and other spaces and will greatly enhance the occupants’ experience. Additional features may include automated parking systems, keyless entry, visitor technology systems, water usage control and more. Ultimately, smart systems greatly enhance occupants’ comfort and as a result have been shown to improve worker productivity.
As a property manager of a residential complex you can also offer a residential portal to further enhance the tenant experience. Technology is no longer just an added convenience to our daily lives, but rather has evolved into the foundation of our daily tasks and functions. Specifically, the future of smart technology is exciting. Imagine if smart building systems could begin to gather data on body temperature and perspiration from individual occupants rather than from centralized thermostats. This could then be used to automatically adapt room temperature or humidity to suit the needs of each occupant. In a home environment, these capabilities could turn a run-of-the-mill apartment into a dream luxury home! Based on the current strides that have been made in smart technology, perhaps this is not so far off to appear on the horizon.
Reduce Energy Consumption & Your Carbon Footprint:
By automating controls and optimizing systems, smart buildings save vast amounts of energy and money. Whereas upgrading a single component in a building or an isolated system can result in energy savings of 5–15%, a smart building with integrated systems throughout, can affect 30–50% savings in your energy consumption and usage. In final analysis, by gaining control of your energy consumption and building functionalities, you can make smart decisions based on the data of the needs and usage patterns of your properties’ occupants. According to the Energy Efficiency Indicator survey, almost half of all organisations in the US are looking to increase their investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and smart building technology in 2021. With unprecedented visibility into your properties’ needs and functions, managers can now identify key areas of wasted energy and eliminate them to reduce their carbon footprint.
Here at Payquad Solutions we are committed to optimizing your user experience. We are constantly innovating and enhancing our software to maximize that experience. Book a demo now to learn how we can help you adopt more technology into your properties today!