What is a Smart Building?
What makes a building ‘smart’ is the use of technology to share information about the building’s various functions. This information is then used to optimise the building’s performance by automating ventilation, heating, and much more. It is through Information of Things (IoT) devices including sensors, online connectivity, and software that smart buildings can control various systems automatically. They use data from sensors to automatically correct and adjust their own settings. For example, they can sense temperature fluctuations and optimise their environment. IoT is essentially everyday items including doors and toilets, which are networked together using the internet. These sensors can react to stimuli including sound and light to provoke the device to perform a functional response such as reducing light.
The Features of a Smart Building
All the core systems are linked. Each sensor is attached to a surface or object. These objects then send data wirelessly to the cloud. Sensors on a desk or bin send their data streams wirelessly to one network. ITVET’s smart building experts set up and maintain your network with your smart building strategy at its heart.
Collection of Data
Each sensor plays a key role in collecting useful data that is used to automate your building systems. This can include which desks are used during the day, which rooms are entered, and how often your toilets are used. Smart buildings generate a large volume of data meaning you can make informed decisions on the running of your workplace. Tangible data sets mean that you don’t have to guess or make costly mistakes.
Automation using Data
Through automation, changes can be made to your workplace without you needing to be involved. For example, sensors on your blinds will monitor the amount of light entering your workplace. Too bright? They automatically close the blinds the right amount for your tenants’ comfort. Too dark? – The blinds automatically open and the lights become brighter.
How Smart Building Features Benefit You
Occupancy monitoring and IoT sensors are fundamental to cutting costs
Occupancy monitoring reveals your tenants’ whereabouts, frequency, and visit duration in real-time. This is valuable data. Maybe your conference room is only used on Tuesdays. Perhaps it could be booked by tenants on other days of the week for a quiet day of focused work. Planning efficient facility management is extremely difficult without information on how many people use certain spaces, and how often. Collecting data opens your eyes to exactly how your building estate is actually used. Are your tenants dwelling in hotspots? Find out why, and then you can enhance your clients’ working environment.
Are you making the most of your building estate? Is each square foot reaching its full potential? Your data will tell you this. Smart building sensors collect data 24/7. ITVET’s data analytics software clearly displays your collected data metrics delivering valuable insights. Having clear access to your property’s data analytics increases your yields as your decision-making becomes data-driven.
How does data save expenditure?
Using ITEVT’s trusted data analytics software, you can arrange for a timetabled report to be sent to your cleaning staff. This will specify exactly which areas need to be cleaned. The sensors detect what has been touched during the day. Not only does this save time, but it also saves on expenses for cleaning products. Sensors can be placed in bins to notify cleaning staff when they need to be emptied. Your tenants can rely on cleanliness and comfort within their workspace. You even have access to which toilets need cleaning; maybe the end cubicle has not been used for a few days. Again, why cleaning something that doesn’t need it wastes valuable resource and cost. This data, tells you the best time for cleaning staff to enter that does not interrupt your tenants’ workday.
Decreasing your carbon footprint
Providing heating and air conditioning for your buildings is both expensive and can be damaging to the environment if it is constantly being used. Occupancy monitoring means you know where your tenants are. If no one is currently working on one of your floors, then why do you need to heat it? If nobody has walked through the corridors in over five minutes, then why are the lights still on?
Using real-time occupancy data, smart IoT devices can control elements such as room temperature and lighting and make your smart building more energy efficient. You can ensure the needs of your tenants are always met without excessive damage to our environment.
Guaranteed energy savings with no hassle
Recent research has revealed the British population is wasting £4.4 billion every single year by leaving lights on unnecessarily. This is a devasting figure. By using IoT features, the lights, heating, air conditioning, and equipment can be automatically switched off when they’re not in use. You don’t have to rely on a member of staff to close down systems and turn lights off. This gives you peace of mind that someone’s forgetfulness will not cost you money.
Managing building energy usage in this efficient way slashes power costs significantly. With utility costs rising quickly, there has never been more of an imperative to do this. Energy usage is one area that weighs heavily on many Building Managers’ minds.
Eco-friendly smart features attract a wider clientele
You can promote your asset as sustainable because of these energy savings. This makes your facilities stand out in a crowded property market. The smart features attract wider demographics including eco-conscious individuals. This demographic is typically more affluent and less price-sensitive, enabling you to charge premium rentals and deliver stronger returns. If their business or personal values prioritise sustainability, they tend to choose the sustainable option. Your premises ranks higher with their environmental preferences than buildings without smart features.
ITVET support hundreds of building estates throughout the UK. Our expert management of their IT estate and network enables them to make the most of smart building features to manage their buildings efficiently. Our property management software aggregates data from a multitude of different devices and assets. This makes management easier and reporting more straightforward.
How Smart Building Features Ensure your Tenants are Satisfied
Prioritising your workers’ wellbeing results in long-term tenancies. Smart building features attract new companies because your building’s ambiance is tailored to their behavioural trends. Highly satisfied tenants working in comfortable environments equate to lasting profits. Many potential companies actively seek workplaces that value their wellbeing, including their physical and mental health. This trend is also being seen by people who are now allowed to work outside the office. They seek trendy coworking spaces to work from flexibly. Smart building features, enable you to meet all their needs and stand out from your competitors. Capitalising on this newly mobile, flexible workforce is paramount as work behaviours change and the adoption of co-working facilities trends upwards at an unstoppable pace.
Tenant Productivity and Comfort
Through building automation based on real-time data, your tenants always have a perfectly engineered and managed environment. They never feel too cold, or too warm in their workplace. They don’t experience headaches from too much artificial light. They always find clean facilities and equipment. The reliable management of your building benefits their productivity. If they have a productive day in your workplace, over time, they associate their productivity with the ambiance created by your smart building features and keep returning.
A New York Times article states “evidence shows when it comes to decision making, indoor air may matter more than we have realized.” The article describes a study that placed workers in rooms with different carbon dioxide levels. Everyone had to complete a test. The higher the carbon dioxide in the room, the worse the test-takers did. Carbon dioxide levels can be monitored, and room ventilation actively managed with smart building automation.
Tenants can use mobile applications to reserve their preferred hot desk or workspace before their visit. They can be guaranteed the perfect environment to ramp up their own productivity.
Your primary concern should be the safety of your tenants. No one should ever be harmed using your facilities. A potential risk in buildings is inefficient fire and safety hazard procedures. Smart building features detect any faults with your equipment before problems occur. This could be printers, computers, lights, anything that could lead to a fire. Your smart building technology can automatically arrange for someone to fix these issues at the earliest moment possible. Your tenants are never waiting long periods for technicians to be called.
Since 2020, our eyes have been opened to the reality of viruses and other illnesses that can be spread between people. Overcrowding causes discomfort for workers. Without technology, it is difficult to know when a specific space has reached full capacity. Too many people in the same space impacts air quality and leads to noise distraction. Through occupancy monitoring, you can detect overcrowding and prevent it. Maybe you find too many people gathering around a printer, showing you that this area would benefit from another one. Sensors on surfaces and objects detect when they have been touched. This data can be used to know when they require cleaning.
How ITVET can Help
Any building can adopt smart building features with support from expert smart building consultants.
Having a digital strategy
ITVET works to create a tailored digital strategy for your asset that will fill all your data and reporting requirements. Your digital strategy is what makes the development of your smart building project seamless and hassle-free. Your digital strategy drives the building stage of your smart building. Working with a vast array of subcontractors for various parts of a smart building project can become really complex and chaotic. Having an overarching network, systems and data strategy, means that you do not need to rely on the compliance of multiple subcontractors. There is a clear and tailored vision that is expertly executed from day one.
The importance of expertise and support
Smart buildings work efficiently because all the individual data streams are sent wirelessly to a network. What happens if this network is down? ITVET are leading providers of IT support and we monitor your network 24/7. We provide security for your network. This security is designed to protect the confidentiality and accessibility of your network and data from online attackers. Our expertise is from our team of smart building specialists who have done this before on a vast scale. Together we have delivered many successful smart building projects.
ITVET Smart Building Project Examples
One Heddon Street
One Heddon Street‘s strapline is Work. Space. Redefined. One Heddon Street ensures workers have the perfect environment for productivity. They offer flexible memberships for tenants to use their space. Smart building features really elevate the space, making it an attractive workspace.
The selling points include:
- 1GB of resilient Wi-Fi.
- Thermal comfort – Tenants have access to change the temperature of where they are seating to suit them.
- Biodiversity – There is a living wall, indoor garden and trees are planted on each floor to create a relaxing ambiance.
- Indoor air quality – The fresh air supply to the offices is 50% above the minimum recommended level.
The Crystal holds accreditation for being one of the world’s greenest buildings. This stunning venue successfully hosts events in the Royal Docks, London. The smart building has seven equipped meeting rooms, a state-of-the-art auditorium, and other event spaces. The smart building features allow The Crystal to attract the eco-conscious clientele to host their events there.
What makes The Crystal stand out?
- 80% of its hot water is heated by solar energy and ground source heat pumps.
- 70% less CO2 emissions compared to other offices in the UK.
- Tenants can easily control lighting, temperature, microphone volume, all from a tablet or phone.
A smart building begins with smart design followed by careful engineering, and then cabling and infrastructure. It does not end there. A smart building’s features run on a network backbone that must be maintained through expert IT support. Smart building features attract premium tenants. They are the most cost-effective approach to running your property asset. Want to find out how our specialist team can transform your building? Get in touch today.