The Importance of Redefining Smart Buildings

As people return to work, much more is needed to meet the new norm's demands. What's required is a shift from legacy, often proprietary smart building systems to open architecture systems that enable discrete smart building systems to work together synergistically.

FREMONT, CA: Smart buildings have historically given building managers more power over the physical aspects of their operations. To extract AI-based data analytics, real-time systems that handle those features depend on integrated sensors and IoT device elements to capture data. As people return to work, much more is needed to meet the new norm's demands. What's required is a shift from legacy, often proprietary smart building systems to open architecture systems that enable discrete smart building systems to work together synergistically.

Cost savings still drive the need for smart building systems. Companies and building owners are now realizing that room optimization and employee efficiency are more valuable than simply lowering energy costs. As a result, new systems will be required to:

Measure real-time occupancy throughout a building: The device must be able to trigger a de-densification process if density levels in any space or common area are too high.

Monitor down to the seat level: To coordinate the cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, it's necessary to know whether or when someone sat at a workstation or entered a room.

Control air quality: Smart buildings must respond dynamically in real-time and make changes rather than simply monitoring environmental conditions. Increase ventilation to ensure sufficient airflow if the number of people in a room begins to rise. These are the kinds of behaviors needed in the new workplace.

Smart buildings will be able to integrate such diverse structures in the future. The pattern is similar to what's going on in the smart city world. Smart cities have traditionally been envisioned as monolithic entities in which data from ubiquitous sensors is centralized and processed for various purposes. Many smart cities will likely consist of a series of several innovative spaces, such as smart traffic lights, smart lobbies, smart roadways, smart infrastructure, smart waste management, and more.

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