The rise of Smart Building Management
Wasteful energy usage, lack of scalability, and tedious manual upkeep are common pitfalls of traditional building management models, often leading to expensive operational and maintenance costs. In recent years, many buildings have turned to smart building solutions for better energy management. Smart building management (smart building control) involves the implementation of an IoT (Internet of Things) building management system to create more efficient solutions for systems within the building. These include, air conditioning, lighting, and security. In this article, we will highlight 5 key advantages of making the switch to smart building IoT solutions and what's to come in the future of smart buildings.
What is a Smart Building? How does it work?
With technology like IoT and PoE (Power Over Ethernet) becoming more advanced by the day and widespread in their application, one of the most revolutionary solutions that have been brought forth is smart buildings control systems. In fact, according to statistics conducted by Fortune Business Insights, the global smart building market was at USD 67.60 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow to USD 328.62 billion by 2029.
A smart building utilises automation and IoT technology to regulate various facility functions and systems, providing real-time monitoring for all its components. This means that different aspects of the smart building, such as HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems, lighting controls, security systems and energy management etc., are all connected via a single network which allows them to communicate with one another. This interconnectivity allows for real-time data collection and analysis, which helps to optimise the building's operations and maintenance and improve the resident’s living experience.
A few examples of how this works include automating temperature controls in response to occupancy levels or weather conditions; remotely controlling lights; using facial recognition software for access control; using motion sensors to monitor activity levels within the building and using predictive analytics to identify potential problems before they arise. With smart green building management, all these features can be easily accessed from one platform, such as a mobile app or dashboard interface.
5 Key Advantages of Smart Building Solutions
Smart buildings often combine different property technologies (PropTech) to make facility management more efficient. However, not all smart buildings can achieve the same degree of performance, as that is highly dependent on the specific technology used and the quality of green construction. Nonetheless, we have rounded up the most notable advantages seen by building operators that properly implement smart building solutions.
1). Lower Operational Costs
Smart building management systems are designed with the goal of reducing operating costs. One way this is achieved is through using renewable energy sources like solar power, which can significantly reduce energy bills over time. PropTech Solutions like smart lighting are also used to reduce electricity consumption, such as by only turning on lights when they are needed. Moreover, with IoT technology to streamline and connect operational systems such as lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilation within the building structure, property managers can also save on human resources, which further reduces operational costs. These methods of cost reduction benefit both residential homes and commercial office buildings alike.
2). Energy Efficiency
At their core, smart building solutions are about leveraging data-driven insights to help create more intelligent engineering solutions that balance environmental sustainability with efficient cost savings. With smart building management, energy consumption can be precisely monitored through IoT sensors that measure how much energy is being used in different timeslots, and specific actions can be triggered automatically by the system for maximum energy efficiency. Real-time energy monitoring systems can detect any issues or malfunctions within the building quickly and accurately to prevent further disruptions or damage down the line. This helps ensure that the building runs as efficiently as possible with minimal downtime due to system errors or difficulties. Additionally, smart building management also considers weather conditions with predictive analysis to optimise functions throughout the day and adjust levels of air conditioning or ventilation accordingly, depending on external factors.
3). Automated Control
Using AI-powered automated control systems, partnered with smart building management enables maximum efficiency for all parts of a building’s operations without necessitating manual input from staff members or technicians each time there is an issue or malfunction detected in the system. Automated smart building solutions allow for greater accuracy and precision in controlling systems such as HVAC, artificial light, security, elevators and other devices within buildings. By incorporating intelligent building and home management with AI capabilities, facilities of all sizes can respond to the needs of the users promptly and automatically based on data from occupancy sensors or other data sources.
Moreover, AI smart building management also provides greater access control over security using fingerprint recognition software or facial recognition cameras. Ultimately, these AI components improve the user experience inside a building while driving efficiencies on the back end.
4). Easy Maintenance
Using an Internet of Things (IoT) based smart building system makes it easier than ever to maintain a home or an office space environment with minimal effort from the users. With this type of system in place, all components become connected through a single platform, making it easier for users to identify and fix issues quickly. Smart building technology like predictive analytics can be used to analyse data from sensors across multiple buildings and predict problems before they affect efficiency and reduce costs associated with poor maintenance. This also eliminates the need for physical inspections to be done by personnel on a regular basis, making upkeep much less of a hassle.
5). Reduced Environmental Impact
Going hand in hand with optimising energy efficiency, smart building management also plays a significant role in reducing environmental impact. Studies from the U.S. Department of Energy have shown that smart building system can reduce the energy use of residential buildings by over 60% and by up to 59% for commercial buildings. With traditional operating systems, it is often easy to overlook energy consumption when there are so many moving parts in the building. Optimising energy efficiency through automated monitoring and adjustment means that every energy-saving opportunity is seized.
Smart building management eliminates unnecessarily long temperature run times and helps prevent energy waste in unused rooms while ensuring comfort levels remain consistent. Its integration into adjacent technology further enhances its effectiveness by providing simultaneous regulation of energy use across numerous areas, including cooling, heating, lighting and ventilation. The combination of these elements ultimately creates a more efficient setting where energy-consuming resources are allocated to their optimal efficiency, resulting in decreased energy bills, increased safety and significant reductions in carbon footprints.
What is the future for Smart Building Systems & IoT Technology?
While smart building solutions are becoming increasingly integrated into mainstream green construction practice, they are still very much in their developmental phase. Relevant smart building technology such as automation, AI, and IoT is rapidly evolving; as technology advances, the potential for smart building systems is increasingly evident.
Using the latest IoT technology and environmental monitoring system can enable property management to better monitor and control all aspects of buildings remotely via an app or web interface. Additionally, the widespread deployment of 5G and Wi-Fi 6/6E wireless network technologies provide unprecedented speed, reliability, security and scalability for smart building systems connecting to different IoTs. 5G networks offer speeds up to 10 times faster than 4G networks, with ultra-low latency. This means that data can be transferred more quickly between IoT applications in a building – such as sensors or cameras – providing real-time IoT data about what is happening in a building at any given moment.
One demonstration of a large-scale implementation of forward-thinking smart building technology is the Grand Central, one of Hong Kong’s most extensive urban development projects undertaken by the Urban Renewal Authority. With this project, Sino Group and HKT collaborate to develop state-of-the-art PropTech solutions that integrate smart building management with innovative PropTech. In addition to the deployment of IoT systems and user devices, HKT has also supported the latest Wi-Fi-6 wireless network for the Grand Central project to cater to the needs of modern, agile, and low-carbon IoT network development.
Smart Building Management with HKT
Smart building management and ProTech solutions offer significant advantages to improve operational efficiency while reducing overall costs associated with running a business or residential premise. Smart buildings are moving towards it as it becomes more and more commonplace, and now IoT and smart building technology can be harnessed to increase efficiency while providing an enhanced experience for users.
As Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service provider and a pioneer in smart city development, HKT employs the latest IoT technology to provide a range of smart building management services and tailored PropTech solutions to help building users and managers maximise efficiencies and live smarter. HKT can help businesses from the planning stages through to implementation – to achieve greater efficiency in every aspect of building management while minimising environmental impact.