With constant technological advancements and the anticipated global rise of migration to cities, smart buildings offer cities the opportunity to transform into smarter cities. Currently, buildings are supported by independent systems for different purposes, such as lighting, security and overall comfort. A smart building, on the other hand, promises an efficient alternative by integrating all these systems through the use of information technology.
Both private residences and commercial buildings will significantly benefit from smart designs. Main advantages of smart buildings include: reduced operating costs, increased safety and productivity, and increased quality of life for the occupants.
Private residences will be able to be controlled by homeowners, even while they are away from home through a connected system. For example, a smart system for private residences that can be very beneficial is a security and surveillance system. The system first connects to your home Wi-Fi network and then you can build a comprehensive system and monitor your security devices using your smartphone and an app. All homeowners can have a bit more peace of mind through this system by being able to ensure their home is locked with the security alarm on.
Commercial buildings also significantly need to be more efficient. Commercial buildings worldwide consume and waste far too much water and energy, which can be easily reduced through coordinated systems. In a commercial building, a security and surveillance system can be used to help monitor occupancy within the building and a water management system can be used to regulate water supply depending on data gained from the security system.
To support the design of smart buildings, technology upgrades are the key. The green building industry in India will grow by 20% in the next three years, increasing the scope of green building materials in the country. Low-voltage products, such as modern electrical switch solutions, and other materials will provide smart buildings with the tools needed to create more efficient systems. Although smart buildings may be more expensive to build up-front, they are less expensive than conventional buildings in the long run.
An example of a smart building in India is the Delhi International Airport Terminal 3. To optimize natural light and reduce heat usage, its smart design and building orientation was well thought out. In addition, it features a multi-level garage that uses automated parking management and guidance system, as well as centralized energy control to reduce energy usage.
The airport is therefore able to reduce costs and increase safety in the airport, while also making those trying to find a parking spot much happier. The Delhi International Airport is the first airport in India to receive LEED Gold rating, co-winner of Times of India/Honeywell 2015 Smart Building Award.
We need smart buildings in the future because sustainable infrastructures are essential to support continued city development and growth. The United Nations (UN) predicts that 70% of the world’s population will be urban by 2050, with many cities having more than 10 million inhabitants. Smart buildings will enable cities to function smarter, a necessary improvement to withstand the world’s growing population and available resources.