Intelligent systems are revolutionizing the way buildings are operated, and an understanding of the latest wave of innovation provides a glimpse into ways that smart buildings can be a key component of smart cities.
Buildings with smart systems can identify, and often correct, potential issues without human involvement and in other cases can help on-site staff diagnose problems. With real-time monitoring and control over energy use, air quality and other building functions, systems are able to adjust for changes in weather, occupancy and equipment conditions, saving energy and extending equipment life as well as making engineers and facility staff more productive.
Early detection of inefficiencies not only saves on energy but also can extend the life of equipment. There are also benefits beyond cost savings: negative trends may be identified and fixed before tenants become aware of any discomfort, and early detection of potential equipment failure in a critical environment such as a data center or lab can help avoid major enterprise risks.
Systems designed for managing large portfolios of owner-occupied properties may use cloud computing to analyze thousands of data points around the world in real-time, looking for trends and anomalies that may identify problems even before they occur. The system alerts command center staff when a potential problem is detected at a property anywhere in the world. If the system can diagnose and correct the problem remotely, there is no need to alert the on-site staff immediately. When the system identifies an anomaly and can diagnose the most likely cause, on-site repair people can show up prepared with the right tools and replacement parts, often saving a second trip.
Another innovation that enables new-generation systems to work in more situations is the development of cross-compatible technology. Recently, independent companies have created systems that can translate information from different legacy systems into a common language. Thus, a company with dozens of buildings equipped with controls from numerous makers can now integrate data from all buildings into one seamless interface.
As a result, facility experts can remotely monitor systems across a worldwide portfolio, benchmark performance at similar properties across the portfolio, and determine when a maintenance or repair issue requires an immediate visit from facility managers.
The real benefit comes when smart buildings, transportation modes and electrical grids are tied together using cloud technology in the intelligent cities of tomorrow. We can start to see where this convergence of technologies is taking us, and there are likely to be even more life-changing innovations that we can barely imagine today. Buildings, singly and in portfolios, will be a major component of worldwide efforts to create intelligent , more sustainable cities.
Source: Environmental Leader