Smart Buildings and their contribution to energy efficiency

From Smart Cities to Smart Buildings. We are moving towards energy efficiency, relying on installations and systems that allow the management and control of consumption in an integrated and automated manner.

The Smart Building concept can be applied to all building typologies, from offices to museums. They can be newly built or simply rehabilitated for it. All buildings can be smart. However, they must have a number of characteristics:

  • It must be efficient in consumption: it has water and energy saving systems. The supply is controlled by information on consumption.
  •  It must have integrated, automated and centralized control systems in the building to optimize its administration. The interconnectivity of these systems makes it possible to obtain data from users and their consumption. Through their study and the learning of patterns, efficiency is possible to be achieved.
  • They must be safe and flexible: they have the most innovative safety systems and they must be adaptable to implement the latest technologies.
  • They must be ergonomic: as one of their objectives is to make life easier for their occupants, Smart Buildings must be comfortable for their inhabitants.

What is a Smart Building?

The creation of Smart Building begins with the correlation of the main systems: lighting, water and energy meters, heating, fire alarms and control sensors. Beyond the features outlined before, there is no single set of rules that define the Smart Building. The key is the integration.

Through sensors, microchips and software, Smart Buildings collect data from their occupants and their consumption. And, by establishing patterns, they make users more productive with lighting, temperature and air quality, among other variables. With all this data, Smart Buildings reduce energy consumption, optimize the use of space and minimize the environmental impact of constructions.

To improve security, usability and accessibility, Smart Buildings make use of IoT (Internet of Things) and different types of software. Through these technological solutions, they not only control and optimize consumption, they also automate their functions, betting on remote and centralized control.

Smart buildings operate through inmotics and domotics. The first makes possible to automate, in a comprehensive manner, the buildings that do not correspond to dwellings. And the second refers to the technologies of control and automation of a house.

How do Smart Buildings contribute to energy efficiency?

The main pillars of smart buildings are the integration of building systems and energy saving. The first is achieved through the use of inmotics and domotics, while the second is based on the new energy systems, such as the alternative or renewable energies. 40% of the energy consumed in cities comes from buildings. Hence the importance of reducing this figure with Smart Buildings.

In new Smart Buildings, energy efficiency is managed with technological systems, such as BIM (Building Information Modeling), which allows knowing how a building will behave before certain stimuli, with the intention of getting ahead and optimizing its performance.

For buildings already built and refurbished such as Smart Buildings, there are other solutions to improve their energy efficiency. For example, in order to reduce the loss of energy, while reducing consumption and achieving efficiency, the refurbished buildings rely on thermal insulation systems.

The advantages of betting on ‘smart’ 

Creation or rehabilitation in a Smart Building is beneficial for the owner and for the companies that work in it. From energy savings to increased sustainability, smart buildings are essential for the energy transition.

Smart Buildings are no longer a trend, but a requirement for construction. They are key to improving the quality of life and well-being of staff, as well as efficiency, productivity and economic growth.

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