Architecture has changed significantly over the years and it will keep continuing because it is a design based on needs and improves the quality of life which changes every year with technology. Today’s architecture is increasingly technologically advanced and reliant on code. Smart, green buildings, net-zero buildings, etc are some examples of buildings that run on automation processes to emit less carbon into the environment while improving thermal comfort, reducing urban heat island (UHI) effects, and safety measures inside any type of building. There are many methods introduced by engineers and architects for smart building design and even some countries try to design smart cities based on smart building concepts such as Dubai’s ‘THE LINE’ project.
Sensible and intelligent Structures
These structures and buildings are operated by sensors installed during the design procedure to create a comfortable ambience for the occupants. Smart buildings use
Buildings that use cutting-edge technology to gather and analyze data from numerous systems and sensors are known as smart buildings. Building owners and operators will save a lot of money thanks to the utilization of this data to optimize building operations and lower energy use. For instance, the HVAC system in a smart building can use sensors to detect certain areas that do not require further cooling and adjust the temperature appropriately to conserve energy.
Advantages of Smart Buildings
Having a smart building has a lot of advantages. The importance of energy efficiency is one of the biggest. The energy consumption of different building systems can be lowered by up to 20% when automated systems are in charge. By lowering carbon emissions, this not only saves money but also benefits the environment.
A further significant advantage is increased passenger comfort and convenience. Temperature and lighting may be automatically changed with smart systems based on user preferences or occupancy. This implies that the structure may be designed to maximize occupant comfort while remaining energy-efficient.
In addition to the advantages already mentioned, there are additional crucial characteristics that make smart buildings an appealing choice for both owners and tenants. Let us examine the other key characteristics and advantages of Smart buildings (GUPTA, 2023).
Building a structure or a vehicle (that potentially harms people’s lives or the environment) without integrating a sensor system to alert the builder of approaching mechanical failure could be seen instead as unsatisfactory engineering in the twenty-first century. Simple built-in fiber-optic structural monitoring systems for pipelines, pressure vessels, storage tanks, etc. might give an early warning of structural flaws and stop many of the breakdowns that currently cause a variety of environmental issues. This sort of technology might alert to the emergence of structural defects in massive structures like dams, nuclear reactors, or buildings, or, following disasters like earthquakes, offer crucial information on structural soundness.
Characteristics of Smart Buildings
- Energy efficiency: Smart buildings are made to maximize energy use, which lowers energy costs and lessens their carbon footprint.
- Cost saving: Smart buildings can save costs for building owners by reducing the consumption of energy and automating procedures.
- Thermal comfort and productivity: Sensors serve a purpose in smart buildings to monitor air quality and modify HVAC systems as necessary. As a result, there may be fewer health concerns and more tenant comfort.
- Electrical safety and compliance: Smart energy meters are used in smart buildings to detect any possible safety risks by continuously monitoring different electrical safety factors, such as voltage or current balance. Additionally, doing this helps to cut down on energy waste.
- Enhancing Maintenance: Real-time equipment status monitoring in smart buildings enables predictive maintenance and minimizes downtime.
- Enhanced data Analytics: Large volumes of operational data generated by smart buildings can be utilized to spot patterns, streamline workflows, and reach well-informed judgments.
Smart buildings, in other terms
There are many terms for buildings nowadays based on the purpose they must fulfill or the design methodology—biophilic design methods, green rating systems, Conventional buildings, Energy efficient buildings, etc. There are many examples of smart or green buildings such as Capital Tower (Singapore), The Crystal Building (London, England), Glumac (Shanghai, China) etc.
Some popular terms are elaborated below:
- Net Zero buildings: The buildings that generate their own amount of energy consumed by different active and passive techniques while using sensors and other technical instruments. A Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB), which generates as much energy as it consumes over a year, is a concept that has lately moved from study to practice. Only a few very efficient structures now exist that match the requirements to be referred to as “Net Zero”. The ability to produce Net Zero Energy buildings is on the rise because of improvements in building technologies, sources of renewable energy, and scholarly study (Gray, 2021).
- Green buildings: The ideal green building would be a development project that would allow you to preserve the bulk of the surrounding natural environment while still being able to create a building that would serve a purpose. It will not harm the land, water, resources, or energy near the structure, and both the building process and operation will promote a healthy environment for all parties. This is what it really means to have a structure that is environmentally friendly.
- Sustainable buildings: A broad phrase used to refer to a style that minimizes the harmful environmental effects created by people and the construction industry in the present as well as the future. By utilizing environmentally friendly design techniques, such as making use of the environment’s rich natural resources, a design is made to be sustainable. Reduced carbon emissions and total environmental effects, together with the use of environmentally friendly building materials, are further ways to make a structure sustainable.
The concept of “smart building” is evolving and taking on many different definitions and is also being divided into several various groups depending on the amenities that every building or other structure must offer its occupants in terms of comfort and safety. Recently, architects and designers have employed similar “Smart building” principles to improve the atmosphere of buildings and increase productivity, whether in homes or businesses. Depending on the size and kind of building and structure, both active and passive approaches have a significant impact. Every technology has benefits and drawbacks, therefore, designers and engineers must weigh these factors carefully to avoid jeopardizing the most important things, which are the global priorities due to a lack of resources.
Anon., 2020. Breaking down the path to net zero energy: Existing buildings, s.l.: BetterBricks.
Giurgiutiu, V., 2004. ACTUATORS AND SMART STRUCTURES, U.S: Elsevier.
Gray, A., 2021. 15 Sustainability Terms You Need to Know, s.l.: Architectural Digest.
GUPTA, M., 2023. Smart Buildings: The Future of Energy Efficiency and Automation, Gurugram : Zenatix.
Tabib, Q., 2012. Zero energy home example. s.l.:Wikimedia commons.