Office & Enterprise

The benefits of Smart Buildings

Mike Holmes Aug 9, 2022

In a previous blog post  we explained the difference between Intelligent or Smart Buildings and Building Automation systems. In this post we expand on some of the benefits that Smart Buildings can offer.

Saving energy

The Economic benefit is what we usually think of first when we talk about Smart Buildings. A building owner will focus on reducing operating costs by installing energy efficient systems. One example of this are the benefits you get from using Power over Ethernet (PoE) lighting. PoE lighting is a LED system that is powered through the network connection that allows the system to be more intelligent. Some of the LED systems we have today can save as much as 80% of the energy used compared to legacy lighting systems. And you get the same amount of brightness with less than 20% of the energy used.

Now, beyond giving you control over the light, many new Smart PoE systems have sensors built into them that give you more possibilities to save energy. Occupancy sensors for example allows you to utilise space in a more efficient way. This is particularly interesting for companies that use hot desking or shared space where the employee has no pre-assigned work desk.

Increase productivity

Smart Buildings have been shown to increase the productivity of its employees. Smart lighting with built-in occupancy and ambient light sensors that can change the light over the course of the day play a key part in this increase in productivity. According to a study made by McKinsey* smart lighting systems can increase occupant productivity that can account for up to 75% of the financial benefit of the intelligent building environment. So, this is actually more pronounced than the actual energy savings which account for nearly 14%.  In summary productivity gains are the biggest benefit when creating a smarter building.

A happy employee…

As productivity increases due to the building’s capability to monitor and adapt, a more comfortable experience is generated for its occupants. Think of optimising comfort by controlling heating, ventilation, aircon and lighting. In this age of internet it is important to keep employees happy by providing high speed connections and have systems in place that can detect and solve technical problems.

Smart buildings also help to ensure the occupants safety. Connected alarm systems and IP cameras can optimise first responder reaction time in case of emergency to protect employees and even save lives.

Building a sustainable future

Last but not least, the technologies used in Intelligent Buildings that result in reduced energy and water consumption will benefit the environment enormously. And the increasing demand from the market for more sustainable and low-carbon buildings will only serve to sustain the demand for Smart Buildings in the years to come.

* McKinsey: Unlocking the Potential of the Internet of Things

About the author

Mike Holmes

Mike has worked in the cable industry for over 35 years. Following a period at Pirelli, he joined Alcatel in 1994 as the UK Product Manager for fibre and copper LAN cables. Since 2001 he has worked in various product management and marketing roles within Nexans in UK & Europe, and is currently Marketing Manager within the Telecom & Data unit.

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