Helping you put the intelligence into your buildings
Whether a new development or an existing building, intelligent building solutions encompass an enormous variety of technologies, across commercial, industrial, institutional and domestic buildings.
Their purpose to control, monitor and optimise building services: lighting; heating; metering, security, CCTV and alarm systems; access control; ventilation, filtration and climate control. Modern-day control systems are made possible by integrating IT infrastructure into the design of the building, enabling monitoring and management by intelligent applications and sensors.
A range of hardwired and wireless network technologies have historically been used to deliver the intelligence within an intelligent building, including Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth and ZigBee. More recently, with the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) we are seeing the emergence of open standards Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technologies such as LoRaWAN being used to provide secure low speed wireless connectivity within a building.
Existing buildings are often facing a financial dilemma with the need or desire to improve customer experience, lower operational costs and become more sustainable – without incurring substantial investment costs. One approach to help achieve this is to leverage existing “data”, where you can analyse and act on previously untapped data through intelligent analytics. An intelligent building has many potential ‘data points’ capable of generating information including HVAC, lighting and metering systems which can be analysed to identify faults, inform you what needs repairing and where further improvements in energy and operational efficiency can be made.
Benefits of an Intelligent Building solution from Pinacl
The ability to easily deploy open standard sensors and gather information relating to the building systems and environment is fundamental for an intelligent building. The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) has provided the ability to complement the existing wired connectivity resulting in ubiquitous coverage throughout a building.
Intelligent buildings integrate sensors, ramp up temperature controls when needed, dim or turn off lights when nobody’s around and alert maintenance crews to resolve any issues or faults as soon as they happen. There are numerous advantages, here are just a few examples:
- Heating - Standard time-based controls turn on and off the heating system (and/or water heating) at pre-selected time and day periods. The number one office complaint is that the workplace is too hot. Number two is that it's too cold. People start using fans or space heaters which can be costly and inefficient. Intelligent solutions measure and react to the conditions and take control to make sure the building is at the desired temperature when occupancy starts. The aim is to provide an acceptable level of temperature and humidity and safeguard against odours and indoor air pollutants.
- Lighting - Different control systems exist, time-based control to a pre-set schedule, or zonal where lights are switched on for a particular area avoiding having to light a much larger area if not required. The introduction of smart solutions with sensors that detect occupancy in areas which are occupied intermittently, and then switch the light on or off accordingly. Light level monitoring is also available, consisting of switching or dimming artificial lighting to maintain a light level measured by a photocell.
- Energy - Previously, energy efficiency has been a relatively low priority to building owners and investors. Today, with the dramatic increase and awareness of energy use concerns, and the advances in cost-effective technologies, energy efficiency is fast becoming part of buildings management, facilities management and operational strategy. The aim is to intelligently control when a building’s energy systems such as heating or hot water are switched on, therefore avoiding wasting energy when no one is around to use it.
Ultimately, intelligent and smart buildings leverage available data and information via sensors and other data sources to drive intelligent decision-making. This approach can reduce operational running costs, help identify immediate and future risks, improve monitoring and management of the building making it more efficient and sustainable.
Pinacl is working more closely with developers, land owners and leaseholders to help understand and raise awareness of the available technologies and applications available to succeed in the 21st century and embrace urbanisation. Pinacl can help with awareness and understanding of the technologies available, how to take advantage of any existing infrastructure and in guiding you through these increasingly complex areas, to build and manage a more effective Intelligent Building.
Architects, developers, builders, utility providers, private organisations and tenants all need to beneﬁt from these modern and innovative technologies to develop more efficient and sustainable buildings. Collaboration is critical to both tackling the challenges and taking advantage of the exciting opportunities around Intelligent Buildings.
A commitment to a Smart City and IoT initiatives is a catalyst for positive change for everyone associated with a new development or modernising and existing building.
If you would like to know more about Smart Cities or how Pinacl can help your Intelligent Building strategy, contact us now.