11.07.2018 : Steve Perkins and more

Top 10 smart building technologies

Want to increase operational efficiency, share information and improve the quality of your buildings' services? Drawing on our work on a wide range of Smart Building projects - from high rise offices in Singapore, to high-tech manufacturing projects - here are the top 10 new smart building technologies we see widely implemented.

1: Video parking guidance systems

Drivers favour carparks that are easy to use, generating more revenue for the owner. Video guidance systems monitor space availability using a network of cameras, and direct drivers using simple digital signage. The tech also helps drivers find their car, record breaches in security, and allows the owner to optimise pricing and usage by tracking and recording vehicle movements within the carpark.

2: Enhanced meeting room control 

New meeting room technology is great, but can be frustrating for users when they don’t understand how to use it. New integrated media systems make it easy to make conference calls, display content wirelessly from any device and change room preferences through a single, easy to use, touchscreen interface, or a person's mobile devices. Room sensors monitor the occupancy and release the room booking reservation when no use is detected after a pre-set time from the scheduled event start.

3: Demand based cleaning

Cleaners generally service toilets on a pre-set schedule, but because cleaning needs vary based on usage, this manpower is not efficiently used. Demand based cleaning systems can tell cleaning staff, in real time, when a toilet actually needs cleaning, via SMS and email to their phones. System inputs include:

  • People counting devices
  • Air quality sensors in toilets to monitor odour
  • User perception of cleanliness collected by the feedback touchscreen at the exit
  • Historical data collected by the system used to predict the required cleaning schedule

4: Visitor self-registration

Self-registration kiosks are allowing visitors to a building to self-register their arrival. The visitor's identification or passport is used for security turnstile clearance and lift access to their destination floor. The system minimises manpower at enrolment counters, saving operational costs for the landlord, and reduces frustration for visitors.

5: IoT sensor networks

High density networks of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors provide real-time environmental data, including occupancy, light level, humidity and temperature. This data provides valuable information for space utilisation and allows environmental control systems to provide more precise control with lower operating costs.

6: Building portfolio analytics

Data integration collection and systems can help owners and operators of a portfolio of buildings to monitor the performance of all properties and benchmark them against each other to identify areas for improvement. The system collects data from the BMS of each building, centrally stores it and generates performance reports comparing each property against set KPIs and identifying abnormal performance which may signal an imminent problem. This can be a challenge across buildings of varying ages and with a range of technologies, but a review of the portfolio can determine the most appropriate integration system.

7: Access control facial recognition

Facial recognition is fast becoming a feature of access control systems. Most major airports are now using facial recognition as part of their automated immigration clearance systems, and commercial buildings are now starting to deploy them as an alternative to PINs and RFID cards.

8: Building diagnostics and predictive maintenance

The analysis of building operational data using artificial intelligence (AI) systems is being widely adopted. The insight it provides is used to reduce energy consumption significantly, as well as optimise operations and maintenance practices.

Stuck fresh air dampers, sensor measurement drift, inappropriate set points and incorrect time schedules are all common real world problems that result in wasted energy and user discomfort, but go undetected because of the scale and complexity of BMS. Diagnostic systems reliably detect these.

9: Surveillance system video analytics

CCTV systems are used for environmental surveillance and crime deterrence, but the number of cameras deployed means that manual monitoring of real-time events is a challenge, and more than 90% of the camera feeds are never viewed, let alone acted upon.

Video analytics (VA) systems use pattern recognition to ‘watch’ the live CCTV video streams, identify behaviour that is concerning, and dispatch security personal to intervene using SMS or other communications methods. VA is often used to detect intrusion as well as health and safety concerns, such as children running in reverse direction on the escalators.

10: Building user mobile apps

Apps for mobile devices and tablets are allowing users to interact directly with their building. The apps communicate with servers linked to the Building Management System, Carpark Management System and other sub-systems, so users can configure local space, lighting & temperature, book carparks or meeting rooms, report repairs and more. The apps put users in control, while reducing staffing needs for the landlord – a win-win situation. Both custom and off the shelf apps are being used.

 

Beca’s work in Smart Buildings and Smart Cities covers a broad range of built-environment applications including improving building and infrastructure operational efficiency, enhancing information and security system performance and providing users with direct control of their environment. We have prepared this top 10 list of smart buildings solutions based our project work and engagement with leading vendors on emerging technologies. Our current clients include:

Authors

Beca Digital

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