We are all probably pretty familiar with the concept of a Smart Building by now: a futuristic looking structure which uses technology and automation to better the user’s wellbeing whilst taking care of the environment. A smart building uses automated systems and sensors to automatically control the building’s functioning. Thanks to them, it can not only create a comfortable and reliable backdrop for the user’s daily activities, but it also helps save energy and resources, allowing the human ecological footprint to be reduced. Smart Building’s systems and services also collect data continuously in order to learn and keep improving the building performance overtime, becoming a powerful tool for owners, asset and facility managers to ensure asset reliability and reduce costs.
In Smart Point we have been collaborating with Smart Buildings across Europe for over 4 years and it is fair to say that we are somewhat experienced in bringing services to help automatise and optimise buildings. In Today’s blog, we want to walk you through the main principles to help you turn your building into a Smart Building.
When it comes to Smart Buildings, Energy Efficiency is key!
The systems and construction of a Smart Building need to promote the efficient usage of resources to reduce the human impact in the environment. Energy efficiency is closely linked to sustainable economic development and The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, contributing to reducing carbon emissions and minimising climate change, amongst others. Another important point within the UN Sustainable Agenda is to abolish or relieve poverty. Hence, it is a good idea to include services in your building that are socially responsible and support the micro economies in your city, such as local businesses.
- Renewable energy sources, such as solar, eolic and biomass.
- Usage of domotics and automatisation systems in order to save energy.
- Services such as the Smart Point enhance the user’s wellbeing and reduce CO2 emissions whilst protecting the local economy.
- Sustainable and healthy or organic construction materials such as wood, straw, bamboo, cellulose insulation, clay, natural paints, etc.
Technology, IOT and domotics make a winner automatisation combo
We are past the time where somebody is required to switch systems on and off to make stuff work. Automation and cutting-edge software algorithms are in full vogue and are available to make your building’s systems perform swimmingly. The role of technology in buildings is, as stated earlier, to improve the lifestyle of anybody inside and outside of the building, as well as reducing costs and increasing energy efficiency.
Here are a few examples:
- Smart Security Systems to increase the level of safety and peace of mind for everyone.
- Temperature control, illumination and irrigation systems.
- Smart Keys, locks and lifts.
- Smart Parcel management for the building administration and the user.
Smart Buildings make a point to integrate services to improve the user’s wellbeing
We have said it over and over: the main point of a Smart Building is to make everybody’s lives better. That means that life inside of the building needs to be comfortable, convenient and healthy. It also needs to be non-intrusive, meaning that each and every system inside of the building might virtually be invisible, or enhance the building and it’s user. It cannot be a nuisance either aesthetically or logistically. Then, it is key to find services that provide exactly what the users are needing, but without getting in their way:
- Fitness areaa are always a good option to include, so far as it is placed somewhere where neither the music, sounds or activities within it cause discomfort to the rest of residents or workers.
- Package lockers are a wonderful way to optimise deliveries in the building, but they require intuitive and easy to use UX. An evolved option of this service is the Smart Point, which offers over 220 convenience services and allows the user to order and book services from its screen or through the user phone app.
- Internal supermarkets are great, however, will the unloading of produce become a problem in the building’s hallways?
A High ROI is the key to Smart Building’s success
Real Estate is known to be a slow to adopt sector, especially when talking about new technologies. Nevertheless, users' demand points increasingly more towards quick convenience and technology services, which is why it is a good idea to add such services in your building (and hence convert it into a Smart Building). In order to feel confident to adopt new technologies in this context, is to focus on services that offer a quick return that is sustainable overtime, and doesn't take too long to get them installed into the building. Services like the Smart Point delivery and multiservice lockers are quick and easy to instal and do not require and refurbishing or remodelling works:
- A Smart Point can increase the building price per square meter by up to 25%.
- It adds value to the property despite its location.
- It allows the cost of the initial investment to be passed on to the price of the home, so that the ROI recovery can be, in most cases, immediate.
- It becomes a home sales and rental operation accelerator tool.