Designing smart buildings
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According to the Building Efficiency Initiative, a smart building is broadly defined as a building that delivers useful services that make occupants productive at the lowest cost and environmental impact over the building’s life cycle.
A smart building aspires to be agile, responsive and adaptive to its users. Data generated by the building should continuously inform system operation, enabling the building to take proactive steps, anticipating user needs and optimizing target outcomes.
A smart building requires adding intelligence from the start of the design phase to the end of the building’s useful life. Smart buildings use converged networks during operation to connect a variety of subsystems, which traditionally operate independently, so that these systems can share information to enhance total building performance.
Smart buildings, intelligent places or connected venues are all terms the industry is using to describe this new way of thinking about how users consume the built environment. While a definition of what makes a facility a smart building is not yet agreed upon, a broad statement of goals and outcomes could be the following:
- A smart building leverages technology to improve the quality of experience, and provides users contextually relevant information to inform their actions in real time.
- A smart building provides solutions that bring added business value through data analytics informing organizational decision making.
- Learn about the client’s business goals and develop metrics that can be used to show progress toward or compliance with them.
- Understand the foundational infrastructure pieces required to support integrated building systems.
- Identify the main criteria for system selection in smart buildings. Know that integrated systems migration and convergence is subject to cost-benefit and quality assurance analyses.
- Review examples of smart, integrated building design.
Julianne Laue, PE, LEED AP BD+C, BEMP, BEAP, Director of Building Performance, Mortenson, Minneapolis
Sanjyot V. Bhusari, PE, CEM, LEED AP, Principal, Intelligent Buildings Practice Leader, Affiliated Engineers Inc., Gainesville, Fla.
Amara Rozgus, Content Manager, CFE Media & Technology