How smart is your building?

According to recent research, we spend 90% of our time indoors. Given this statistic, it's clear that buildings are more than just bricks and mortar within which we live and work. Facility managers are more aware than ever of the need to create spaces that improve and support occupants' lives rather than having a detrimental effect on their wellbeing. Welcome to the era of the smart building.

Is your property smart?

A smart building is defined as a structure that uses an integrated technical system to control essential amenities such as lighting, heating, air quality, energy consumption and safety. By connecting these elements, a building that is working smartly will use real-time data to analyse and adjust the performance of its operations so it can create a comfortable environment, avoid wasting energy, and ultimately save money.

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The benefits are very clear. As energy costs rise, the need to control consumption has become a priority. However, before usage can be managed, a clear picture of how a building is performing is vital in order to understand where energy is being wasted through equipment inefficiencies and unnecessary running. Smart buildings gain these insights through sensors and wireless connectivity and act on the information provided. As a result, they're nicer places to inhabit. Heating, lighting, and other facilities become responsive to current requirements and occupancy levels. No more sweltering during a heatwave or air-conditioning empty rooms!

Smart buildings are also safer. Access security, intrusion and fire alarms can be integrated into the central system. Smart building technologies take control should the worst happen, ensuring the right responses are automatically triggered in the event of a fire or break-in. Integrated access control is also another element that can help owners to protect their assets, by allowing or barring individuals as well as monitoring movements in and around their properties.

At its heart, the evolution of the built environment has given owners, operators, and managers the tools to be proactive. By collating real-time data on the performance levels of core plant equipment, catastrophic and costly systems failures can be prevented, regular maintenance can be planned, and minor issues can be resolved quickly.

How can I make my building smarter?

Here at Sowga, we have extensive experience of designing and installing the latest BEMS (Building & Energy Management System) into new properties, as well as retro-fitting for commercial and residential buildings. This technology has the potential to deliver huge cost savings by ensuring operations are running at their lowest possible cost. Consider it the 'brains' of your building.

With a BEMS in place, it's possible to manage 9% of a building's energy consumption by monitoring and controlling all core processes, whether its mechanical or electrical, from one central laptop or office. The system also allows for remote access so that maintenance service providers can dial in if ever there's a problem, getting operations back on track with the minimum of fuss.

Sitting on top of existing plant equipment, BEMS technology represents a relatively simple way of gaining greater control over operational spending, and an altogether smarter approach to running the buildings of the future. Want to find out more? Our team is at the forefront of this technology and would be happy to speak to you about the advantages of a BEMS to your business. Contact us today for more information on our services.

*Research from The National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS)

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