Smart Building

Nearly everything you need to know

A Smart Building holds many benefits, such as the interaction between your buildings, and a lower carbon footprint. In order to create a Smart Building, you will need certain technologies and follow five steps.

Mini guide

The Ultimate Guide to Smart Building

Working together with hundreds of different companies allowed us to gain knowledge about the integration of active and passive management solutions. We gathered all our expertise and wrote the mini-guide "The Ultimate Guide to Smart Building" to help you optimize consumption and promote user safety.

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Table of Contents

What is Smart Building?

According to the Regional and Interdepartmental Department of the Environment and Energy, the concept of Smart Building is the integration of active and passive energy management solutions. The latter aim to optimize consumption, but also to promote the comfort and safety of building users while complying with current regulations.

Among the attributes of Smart Building we find:

  • Energy management
  • Building security and access management
  • Connectivity
  • Human interactivity with the building environment through connected objects, mobile apps and sensors, ...

Find more information:

Mini guide: The Introduction to Smart Building

What are the benefits of Smart Buildings?

Flexibility

Management systems, equipment, and building technologies are modular and scalable.

Low carbon footprint

A Smart Building reduces energy costs and carbon footprint.

Mixed-use

Ideally, a Smart Building is a mixed environment: it houses different activities, consisting of shops, offices, housing, leisure facilities, etc.

Connection and digitalization

A Smart Building is equipped with an excellent internet connection but also with equipment to facilitate access to this connection anywhere (smartphone, tablet, screens, and other connected objects, ...).

Interaction between buildings

The Smart Building no longer evolves as an isolated silo but interacts with other buildings (shared connectivity, integration to the same smart grid, data sharing, ...).

 

Find more information:

Blog article: 5 advantages of transforming your building into a smart building
Blog article: How Orange integrated smart parking to empower employees
Blog article: How did Merco transform its parking lot

What are the challenges in deploying a Smart Building?

Choosing the right systems

It is essential to select systems with open communication protocols such as BACnet. BACnet is a data communication protocol created to standardize communication between building automation system components.

BACnet enables systems from different vendors, such as HVAC, lighting, security, and fire systems, to communicate with each other by providing standardized methods for presenting, requesting, interpreting, and transporting the information.

Developing a programmable platform

Plan your options in advance to take into account the programming required to let these systems communicate with each other.

Require a team approach to systems integration

With the introduction of intelligent buildings, the real estate industry is moving towards a collaborative approach. Teams communicate with each other to develop and implement integrated and interconnected system platforms.

Space constraints

In both new and existing buildings, sufficient space will be required for the successful implementation of the IoT (cabling, power supply, …).

 

Find more information:

Mini guide: The Ultimate Guide to Smart Building

What are the technologies required to build a Smart Building?

All buildings will need to be equipped with default systems deployed as part of a basic construction or fit-out, including building management systems (BMS), power supply, and security. Systems can be purchased, upgraded, or replaced to meet defined requirements.

Furthermore, you will need an intelligent infrastructure, such as a physical network, a 4/5G data network, an IoT network...

 

Find more information:

Blog article: Smart City: What synergies between mobility and new technologies

How can you transform your building into a Smart Building?

Here are in a few lines, the 5 steps to follow to transform your building into a smart building.

1. Evaluation of building technology system

This assessment includes : 

  • The computing power
  • Technology infrastructure
  • The age of the facilities
  • Compatibility with IoT and intelligent building technologies
  • Location and ability to integrate with another platform

2. Vision and master plan

The goal is to look beyond what is inside the building to realize its true potential for integration. The most important point during this stage is to determine future plans.

3. Setting priorities

Take the assessment and master plan into account to create a rating scale for intelligent building decision-makers.

4. Apply the plan

In order to implement the plan in already existing infrastructure, three issues are generally raised: 

  • Budget

  • Service interruptions

  • Time of year

It may be worthwhile to consider creating a five-year plan to upgrade your building. By doing so, the budget will be reviewed, scheduled facility outages and upgrades will be considered. 

5. Design phase

At the design stage, manufacturers may be asked to present their technologies and demonstrate the intelligent building configuration that will be created and shared.

The technologies will be thoroughly researched and reviewed for compatibility with the blueprint, and especially for their ability to provide the intelligent integration they claim.

 

Find more information:

Mini guide: The Ultimate Guide to Smart Building

Blog article: How can you transform your building into a Smart Building?

Example of a Smart Building

The trend is currently accelerating at the institutional level with new architectural projects. All cities want to adopt a sustainable approach and become "smart cities". An example of the world's smartest office building: The Edge.